Republican Sen. Roy Blunt to Retire in 2022, Won’t Seek Re-election

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) asks questions during the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs/Rules and Administration hearing to examine the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. March 3, 2021. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS

SEN. ROY BLUNT OF Missouri announced Monday that he’ll retire at the end of his term in 2022, marking the latest high-profile Republican departure as the party seeks to regain the Senate majority in next year’s midterm elections.

Blunt, a member of Senate Republican leadership, has been a fixture in GOP politics for decades both at the statewide and national level. He served in the House for 14 years in a number of leadership positions before his election to the Senate in 2010.

“In every job Missourians have allowed me to have, I’ve tried to do my best. In almost 12,000 votes in the Congress, I’m sure I wasn’t right every time. But you really make that decision based on the information you have at the time,” Blunt said in a video announcement, adding that after 14 general elections to various offices, “I won’t be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate next year.”

Blunt’s announcement comes ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in which both parties will be vying for control of the Senate, which is locked in a 50-50 split with a narrow Democratic majority. Republicans held the Senate majority for the past six years until they lost two seats in Georgia earlier this year. They only need to win one seat to regain control but Republicans are on defense in more states than Democrats.

While Democrats have had electoral success at the statewide level, Missouri has become a tougher reach for the party in recent years.

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SOURCE: US News and World Report, Lisa Hagen