Candidate Walks 27 Miles Across Buchanan County

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 08/03 2014 11:16PM

Updated 08/03 2014 11:41PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Al Purcell is walking on a mission.

"I just came up from Lewis and Clark Village down past Rushville and so Tuesday, please vote, please," he told drivers as he walked along a rural county street.

Purcell is a Republican Candidate for Presiding Commissioner in Buchanan County.

On Sunday, he fought the rain, sun and heat to walk 27 miles from Rushville to the North Shoppes in St. Joseph.

He says his walk allowed him to see more than just St. Joe.

"We have wonderful folks of all different walks of life in Rushville and Dekalb...and Agency and Easton and Faucett and just all over the county," he said.

At 73 and a half years old, Purcell says he hopes his walk inspired others, including the youth in the county.

"I had several motives," he said. "One obviously name recognition, but more important, I would love to see young men and women come out to vote."

Tuesday's primary election is expected to have a low turnout.

"If there is anyway in my own small way that I can incent young men and women to get involved in the civic process, I absolutely will do that," he said.

On Sunday afternoon, after hours of walking along two lane highways and city streets, Purcell reached his destination.

Elijah Broadus, 20, was there to meet him at the finish line.

"It's insane," Broadus laughed. "I know I couldn't do it so that's really crazy that he was able to do it."

Broadus says Purcell inspired him to vote on Tuesday. He says he is telling his friends to make it to the polls.

"I think its a great opportunity to get out and voice your own opinion," he said.

An opinion that Purcell walked the entire day for.

"I can't stand anymore," Purcell said after the long journey.

Purcell will be running against Republican Harry Roberts in Tuesdays primary.

The winner of that election will face Democrat Mike Veale who is running for his party's position unopposed.

For profiles on both candidates visit our previous stories.

Al Purcell

Harry Roberts

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