Sen. Roy Blunt visits Columbia to promote re-election campaign

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COLUMBIA - U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, visited Dave Griggs' Flooring America Monday to promote his campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Blunt has served as U.S. senator since 2011. 

Blunt highlighted increases in health research funding for the first time since 2004 during his time in office, but cited President Obama's budgetary choices as a reason medical research is not receiving the funding he believes it deserves.

"So much of the problem is that no one is willing to say, 'Here are our priorities,' and make them our priorities," Blunt said. "When everything's a priority, nothing's a priority."

Blunt also touted his lifetime service award from the Missouri chapter of Veterans of Foreign War, despite facing scrutiny for allegedly hiding student deferments that prevented him from serving in the Vietnam War.

The Missouri Democratic Party announced ahead of Blunt's re-election campaign a new website which highlights his alleged draft deferments.

"For decades, Sen. Blunt has been in Washington, he has misled us about his draft status," said Vietnam veteran Richard Mendenhall of Columbia. "He voted against policies that would have helped veterans. I want a senator we can trust to do right by those who've served our country."

Political newcomer Christopher Batsche is also seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is seeking the Democratic nomination.