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U.S. Rep. Jason Smith visits Missouri Capitol as he ponders Senate run

U.S. Rep. Jason Smith visits Missouri Capitol as he ponders Senate run

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Missouri Congress

Rep.-elect Jason Smith, R-Mo., waits to be ceremonially sworn in on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

JEFFERSON CITY — U.S. Rep. Jason Smith was in the capital city Monday and Tuesday, speaking with state lawmakers as he considers running for U.S. Senate.

The congressman has expressed interest in the Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, and word of his presence made its way around the Capitol on Tuesday. Smith, R-Salem, said he attended an annual dinner Monday night with lawmakers from his 8th Congressional District, which covers southeast Missouri.

“It’s a partnership where we work together. This is only been the eighth year I’ve done it. So I guess this year it made a little bit more noise,” Smith told the Post-Dispatch in a brief interview.

Smith was introduced to the full House on Monday and continued to walk the Capitol on Tuesday.

“I’m considering it,” he said when asked if he’s thinking about a run for Senate. “Whenever you look at all the different candidates that’s named out there, my record for working-class families, farmers and small businesses — and conservative credentials — are better than anyone that’s listed.”

Asked if he was talking to people in the capital Tuesday to gauge support, Smith said: “I’m talking to people to make sure that southeast Missouri is represented the best it can be for the people we all serve. That’s why I’m here.” 

The only two Republicans to officially launch bids for the seat are Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Smith, 40, was first elected to the U.S. House through a special election in 2013. Before that, he served in the Missouri House.

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