(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) On Monday morning, longtime Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt announced he will not seek reelection in 2022.
In a video message, Sen. Blunt said:
“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," said Sen. Blunt. “Most importantly, thanks to Missourians, whether you voted for me or not, for the opportunity to work for you and a better future for our state and our country."
The news coming as a surprise to some, but not so shocking for fellow GOP leaders in the state.
“We had been hearing for some weeks now that he was looking at whether or not he would seek reelection,” said State Senator,
After 14 General Election victories, Sen. Blunt's tenure seat is up for grabs and Missouri's Republican leaders said it will be a highly competitive race. Missouri State Rep., Bill Falkner said, “Oh yeah, I think this is huge that the Republicans keep this seat.”
On the national stage, politicians said this open seat is consequential for Republicans and a big opportunity for Democrats.
“The Senate is very close right now in terms of partisan split right now between Democrats and Republicans, so every seat heading into the midterm elections is going to be critically important,” said Luetkemeyer.
Local political scientists said as the Republican party is facing a divide, on the state-front, there will be a showdown over Republican policies between candidates.
“It’s also going to play out in Missouri politics because right now we’re witnessing a pretty major split in the Republican party. Between what I call the institutionalists or the old guard and then those like Senator Hawley who have pledged their allegiance to (former) President Trump and are pulling the Republican party in a very different direction. I think you are going to see on the Republican side, a pretty big primary fight over that,” said Dr. Ed Taylor, MWSU political science professor.
As for who political analysts and GOP leaders think will throw their hat in the ring for Sen. Blunt's open seat, they said only the next few weeks will tell.