Governor-elect Matt Blunt turns to boyhood Sunday School teacher for help in transition
By Allen Palmeri
November 23, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Governor-elect Matt Blunt, who stressed the importance of moral values throughout his successful campaign, is communicating that same message now through the selection of his high school Sunday School teacher as transition team leader.
Ken McClure, 54, taught Blunt, 34, at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, when Blunt was in his junior and senior years at Jefferson City High School. McClure, who now works as associate general manager of administration at Springfield City Utilities, is in charge of transition team duties until Jan. 10.
“You never know what kind of an impact you have,” said McClure, reminiscing about the days when he taught Blunt in church. “It indicates to me that teaching young people in an environment where they learn the moral values, but more importantly the values of faith, the Scriptural references, the Scriptural foundation for all of that faith, is what matters. In Matt’s case, that foundation was laid very early, and he has lived that life all the way through.
“Matt was a very studious individual. It was clear that he was a leader. It was clear that he had a sense about him, a discipline that really you don’t see until much more mature years.”
McClure, a former chairman of the Public Service Commission, has 23 years experience working in state government. He has extensive time in both the legislative and executive branches and experience in 2000 as Blunt’s transition director into the office of Secretary of State.
“I think that gives me a pretty unique perspective on all aspects of state government,” said McClure, who is a member of University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield. “I feel very comfortable with the organizational structure and funding structure.”
In turning away from 12 years of Democratic governors who were commonly described as either moderate or liberal, Missouri voters have selected a governor-elect who is both Republican and conservative. Blunt, who comes from a Southern Baptist family, has been influenced by the theologically conservative teaching of Dauphin Way Baptist Church, Mobile, Ala., where he was a member during his time of active-duty service in the Navy. The governor-elect currently sits under the conservative teaching of Pastor John Marshall at Second Baptist Church, Springfield.
“He is as genuine as they get,” McClure said. “What you see in Matt Blunt is the way that Matt Blunt genuinely is. So the message to me is that it reinforces the importance of educating our young people in the spiritual values and in the broader sense the moral values that we as a society ought to have. I think this was clearly indicated in the vote that came out not only in Missouri but nationwide. Certainly that early education, that early foundation, is critical.”