Bert Jones. Carl Ford. Chris Millis. And now John Blust. Leaders in the state House’s tiny conservative minority are calling it quits in this cycle It must be tough to hold firm principles and sit in that chamber day after day watching other folks throw theirs out the window. I know I couldn’t stand it.
I got to know Blust during the 2006 election cycle. I was a leader in the ragtag band here in Moore County trying to depose “co-speaker” Richard Morgan. Blust was one of a number of folks from Raleigh who provided us aid and comfort. Blust backed up his talk on the House floor too. He and former Rep. John Rhodes (R-Meck.) openly defied the Black-Morgan cartel on a daily basis. Rhodes got knocked out in an establishment-spawned primary. Blust managed to survive.
(This time around, he was drawn out of his Republican district and slapped into a much less-friendly district.)
A lawyer and accountant by training, Blust often fought lonely battles, as a member of the majority AND minority, on spending and ethics against leadership. While most of his colleagues sucked up to the lobbyists and leadership, Blust continued to maintain a solid conservative voting record.
A smart, principled conservative like John Blust is exactly the kind of guy we need in some kind of leadership role. Let’s hope we’ll see him again soon in some other kind of public, leadership role.