Blunt Won’t Seek Senate Reelection in 2022

March 8, 2021 by TWN Staff
FILE - In this March 5, 2021, file photo, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., heads to the chamber as the Senate holds a voting marathon on the Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that's expected to end with the chamber's approval of the measure, at the Capitol in Washington. Sen. Blunt says he will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate. Blunt, who turned 71 in January, was widely expected to seek a third term in 2022. He made the surprise announcement in a video Monday, March 8, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite File)

WASHINGTON – Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., surprised many on Capitol Hill Monday by announcing he will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate.

Blunt was widely expected to seek a third term in 2022, but in a video announcment, he suggested the time had simply come to move on.

“In every job Missourians have allowed me to have, I’ve tried to do my best,” Blunt said. “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.

“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,” he said.

Before election to the Senate Blunnt, who turned 71 in January, served seven terms in the House. He also served two terms as Missouri’s secretary of state from 1985 to 1993.

Blunt is the No. 4 in Senate Republican leadership and is the fifth Senate Republican to decide against running for reelection in 2022.

The others are Richard Burr, of North Carolina; Rob Portman, of Ohio; Richard Shelby, of Alabama; Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Blunt is chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. He’s the ranking member on Rules, and he has seats on Appropriations, Commerce and Intelligence.

In a written statement, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Blunt’s retirement “will be a loss for the Republican conference and the entire Senate.

“In just 10 years in this body, he’s quickly become a true leader, a policy heavyweight, and a driving force behind both key conservative victories and essential bipartisan work,” McConnell said. “It says a great deal about who Roy is that he simultaneously served our Republican side so effectively in senior party leadership while also running the crucial Rules Committee.

“Of course, Senator Blunt’s distinguished service didn’t start in the Senate. After Missourians made him their first Republican Secretary of State in half a century, they hired him for seven impressive and impactful terms in the House. His colleagues made him Chief Deputy Whip after just two years and asked him to take over as Majority Whip two terms later. 

“Sen. Blunt’s mastery of healthcare issues has paid especially big dividends to the American people. Throughout this pandemic no individual Senator has done more to drive testing efforts or advance the historic and successful sprint to vaccines. He’s long been a champion of everything from patient choice and affordability to mental health to the scientific research that moves us forward. His legacy on these fronts will be impossible to overstate,” the Republican leader continued.

“Sen. Blunt has tackled so much important work for Missouri and our country and has been an enormous asset to all his colleagues. I’m very sorry he’ll be stepping away but am glad the country has two more years to keep benefitting from his talent,” he said.

Also paying tribute to Blunt was House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

“During his time in the House Republican leadership, we found common ground and worked together to reach key compromises to protect the institution of the House and to advance major legislation, including the pivotal Help America Vote Act in 2002,” Hoyer said. “After he left to join the Senate, Roy and I remained in close contact and worked to bring Democrats and Republicans together whenever possible to achieve bipartisan legislative victories. Even though we have diverged frequently on policy, Roy has always been someone ready to listen, someone who could disagree without ever being disagreeable.”

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