Rusty Black of rural Chillicothe has announced his intention to seek the office of Missouri’s 7th District representative, representing Grundy, Livingston and Linn counties. The announcement was made Tuesday at a reception sponsored by supporters of Rusty and Karie Black. The event occurred at Celebrations Event Center in Chillicothe. The 7th District House seat will be open in the 2016 election, due to Mike Lair reaching term limits. Lair, a Republican from Chillicothe, was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2008. He was subsequently re-elected in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Black has been an agriculture education teacher in Chillicothe for more than 26 years. He said that during this time he has been blessed with working with a strong team of ag teachers and in a community that sets high expectations for their FFA program. Black’s wife, Karie, is the special services director as well as a pre-kindergarten administrator for Chillicothe R-2 School District. The Blacks have four children, Jameson, Jessica, Jaryn and Jon, and four grandchildren. Black has been active in professional organizations during his tenure. He has held several leadership positions within these organizations including president of both Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teacher’s Association and Missouri Association of Career and Technical Education. Rusty has also served on a state committee of Missouri State Teachers Association. He has been recognized by his peers receiving state and national awards. Black’s community involvement includes roles with local 4-H clubs, FFA Alumni and working with the Livingston County Fair. He is a member of the Chillicothe Lions Club and Farm Bureau. He and his family are members of Chillicothe United Methodist Church. Black and his wife have held leadership positions in the church and have been Sunday school teachers. Black said that his desire to serve others has led him to seek the office of state representative. He will retire after 32 years in the ag classroom. He said his passion for agriculture and education will lead him into this new endeavor. He also is a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment, protecting life and the importance of local control. His life as an educator, community member and father prove his willingness to give of himself for the benefit of others, supporters said. Listening to others, identifying solutions to problems, then putting together a plan to solve those problems has been exhibited throughout his life and career. Black said he will continue the progressive ways of the Green Hills area while making decisions based on a firm conservative foundation he learned as a child in a family of eight in King City, Mo.