JEFFERSON CITY - Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced Wednesday he will not seek potential U.S. Senate candidacy. This comes after Senator Roy Blunt announced he would not run for re-election in the U.S. Senate.

Ashcroft has decided to remain the Missouri Secretary of State in the upcoming election year. After the news broke Monday, Ashcroft tweeted that he would "talk to family and friends about how he could best serve the state of Missouri."

Ashcroft explained in an emailed press release the reasoning behind the decision not to run. 

"Our hearts are in Missouri and we cherish the opportunity to continue raising our family here," Ashcroft said. "We hope those who pledged support to me will devote their efforts to electing the eventual Republican nominee." 

Senator Roy Blunt announced he would not seek re-election in 2022 on Monday.

Former State Senator Scott Sifton announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in February 2021. The Democratic candidate has been endorsed by Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Missouri Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Alan Green and former Democratic Senate Leader Gina Walsh. 

"Our country is at a critical point in its history,” Sifton said. “We just saw what happens when our leaders don’t stand up for truth and when they don’t put the good of our country over their own political ambitions."

Former U.S. Marine Lucas Kunce announced Tuesday he would also run for Senator Blunt's seat in congress. In an emailed press release, Kunce explained his democratic campaign would focus on creating more jobs. 

"Missourians are frustrated with with Washington because there are so few Senators with life experiences similar to mine or people in the communities I grew up with," Kunce said. "I'm running for the U.S. Senate because Missouri deserves new leadership that will standup for working people and better-paying jobs."

Democratic candidate Timothy Shepard is also running the the U.S. Senate race for 2022. Shepard is running on a grassroots campaign, according to his website. 

"I understand the unique struggles faced in both rural and urban areas because I've lived them," Shepard's website said. "My platform outlines what I'll do as your Senator by putting Missourians and their needs first."