Sen. Roy Blunt says no to running again for Senate

Missouri GOP Senator Roy Blunt announced his retirement on Monday.

Missouri GOP Senator Roy Blunt announced on Monday that he will not run for the third term in the 2022 election, making him the fifth Senate Republican expected not to seek reelection next year. 

Blunt was first elected to the Senate in 2010. He previously served in the House for 14 years. He is the fifth Republican to announce his retirement. Surely, his decision will set off a messy GOP primary in a state where former President Donald Trump remains popular.

“After 14 general election victories three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections  I won’t be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate next year,” Blunt said in a video. He further informed that he will finish his current term. 

Blunt, 71, is a member of the Republican leadership team in the Senate and a close ally of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Blunt has not revealed the reasons why he decided to leave the Senate, but he said he is proud of his work on issues including health research, job creation, and national defense. 

Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Richard Burr of North Carolina are the ones who opted against seeking reelection in 2022. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have yet to disclose their plans.

Trump won Missouri by 15 percentage points last year, so it is likely to be a less competitive state for Democrats on the Senate map next year. They might also get a chance to expand their 50-50 Senate majority as Blunt retires and this could set off a competitive primary battle to replace him. 

Blunt voted to exempt Trump in the former president’s very recent impeachment trial in the Senate but occasionally broke with Trump throughout his term. Along with the other four senators, Blunt’s decision not to seek reelection could suggest a level of discomfort with the direction of the party, especially with Trump looming over the GOP’s future.

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