WASHINGTON (BP) – All Southern Baptist members of Congress participating in the Nov. 8 election successfully defended their seats.
In Missouri, Sen. Roy Blunt, R, seeking second term, First Baptist Church, Branson, defeated Jason Kander, D, 1,370,240-1,283,222, 49-46 percent. Additionally, Rep. Sam Graves, R, 6th District, seeking ninth term, First Baptist Church, Tarkio, defeated David Blackwell, D, 236,938-98,598, 68-28 percent.
Three senators and 26 representatives – all members of Southern Baptist churches – won re-election. With three other senators who were not up for re-election, Southern Baptists will count at least 32 of their own in the Senate and House of Representatives when the next Congress convenes in January. Some Southern Baptists whom Baptist Press is unaware of may have been elected for the first time.
Five Southern Baptist members of the House either retired, lost in a primary or fell short in races for other offices.
Reps. Randy Neugebauer of Texas and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia retired. Seven-term Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia failed to regain his seat when he fell short in the Republican primary. Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana failed to qualify Nov. 8 for the run-off for a Senate seat. Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana lost in the GOP primary for the Senate.
The three Southern Baptist senators who gained re-election are Sens. Blunt of Missouri, John Boozman of Arkansas, Roy Blunt of Missouri and James Lankford of Oklahoma. Southern Baptists held 40 seats in Congress after the 2012 election, reaching what appears to have been the largest Southern Baptist contingent ever on Capitol Hill.