JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Roy Blunt announced Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022.
"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 announcement attached to a news release and posted to social media.
In the announcement Blunt thanked his family and team, and also thanked Missourian for the opportunity to work for you and a better future for our state and country.
Blunt will still finish his current term as senator.
"Finish strong, and I intend to. Thanks for giving me the chance to work for you," Blunt said in the announcement.
Blunt held a press conference at the Springfield-Branson National Airport Monday afternoon.
Blunt reflected on his time as a Senator and reaffirmed his commitment to the next two years.
“I’m grateful for that. I look forward to the next two years, and then whatever comes after that will be something I’ll be looking forward to as well, but I have no idea what that will be," Blunt said.
He also said he felt good about Republicans' chances at filling his seat in 2022.
“I think 2022 will be a great year for someone new to take this senate seat." Blunt said. "I think our friends on the other side are heading in a direction that will make 2022 a great year for Republicans.”
Notable Missouri politicians are reacting to the news on social media. But only one, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said he was considering a run. He said in a statement:
"Katie and I will be praying and talking to friends and family about how I can best serve the state of Missouri."
Claire McCaskill and Jason Kander, two Democrats who recently lost senate races said they did not plan on running for Blunt's seat in 2022. McCaskill said in a statement on Twitter she is "so happy I feel guilty sometimes."
Former State Senator Scott Sifton announced his candidacy for 2022 in February. In a statement, he said the departure creates an opportunity for Missouri voters.
"Missourians have an opportunity to vote for better leadership than they've been getting from our two senators."
Blunt was the fourth highest ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate. He was elected into public office in 1984 when he became the first Republican to hold that office in fifty years. From there he went to serve in the U.S. House where he was elected Majority Whip.
He was then elected to the Senate in 2010 and served as a conservative, bipartisan member of the Senate. Most recently, despite his support for Trump, he chose not to challenge President Biden's election certification process. He served as a teller during Biden's certification process, alongside Amy Klobuchar.
After Blunt's departure, Missouri will no longer have a senior Senator in DC. Hawley, a junior Senator, was elected in 2020 and has been controversial after the insurrection at the Capitol Jan. 6.