Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a top Senate Republican, will not run for reelection when his term is up next year.
He announced his decision in a video posted Monday.
Thank you, Missourians, for the opportunity to work for you and a better future for our state and our country. pic.twitter.com/1GjX74zhZB
— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) March 8, 2021
Blunt serves in the Senate GOP leadership, and before his election to the Senate in 2010, served in top positions in House Republican leadership as well. Some in Washington perceived Blunt as someone who could eventually have taken over as the leader of the Senate caucus.
In the video announcing he would not be running, Blunt did not give an explicit reason for why he was ending his Senate career. He did, however, note that he had cast nearly 12,0000 votes in Congress.
Missouri was once considered to be a swing state, but has reddened over the years, and Blunt was not on the list of Senate Republicans up for particularly tough re-election fights next year.
While it’s unclear whether Democrats will be able to put up a competitive candidate this time around, Blunt’s decision not to run injects more uncertainty into the 2022 map. Already, Senate Republicans will have to defend open seats in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio, after their respective Sens. Patrick Toomey, Richard Burr and Rob Portman announced that they wouldn’t be running for reelection. Sen Ron. Johnson, who represents Wisconsin, a state that turned back to blue in 2020 after going for Donald Trump in 2016, also has hinted that he may not run again in 2022, though that decision is not final.
Beyond its implications for the Senate map, Senate Republicans will also be losing an institutional figure with Blunt’s departure. In addition to holding the top GOP position on the Senate Rules Committee, Blunt serves on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and also on the Intelligence Committee. Having served as a whip when he was in the House, Blunt is also considered one of the most plugged in Republican senators and is a close McConnell ally.