In the end, the race could better nominate a candidate of ideology and confrontation than the 71-year-old Blunt, who spent 24 years in the House and Senate balancing the party’s loyalty as a longtime member. Of GOP leaders with critical skills as an internal worker who can cut high scores – an agreement with Democrats on bills to pass.
Blunt found a more cordial and sociable transactional style in line with the mood of the party’s voice base, especially after the election of President Donald Trump, which Blunt was sometimes mildly criticized for. In matters of foreign policy But he gave little indication that he was taking retirement seriously as he regularly voted in line with Trump, at least until January 6, when he was broke from Republican votes. Together in Congress, and Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley denied a challenge to Trump. November loss
His decision created a headache for Republican political strategists, who face a fifth open seat in next year̵7;s election, another intra-party competition that could complicate the GOP’s mission. In holding the majority
Sens.Richard Burr (NC), Rob Portman (Ohio), Richard C.Shelby (Ala.), And Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) Have said they will not be asking for a new Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa). And Ron Johnson (Wis.) Has yet to declare their intent.
Bill Hoagland, senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center and former Senate GOP aide, said Blunt’s departure was a declaration that the Republican Senate’s departure was rightly continuing and a likely trend in The use of legal strategies more face-to-face
He noted that Blunt, Portman, Shelby and others voted convincingly for a bipartisan deal to fund the government and approve major federal programs that other Republicans hated.
“Their votes will be missed,” he said, “and if they are not there this will make it even more difficult to deal with some of the major issues we are going to face in the future.”
Over the past six years, Blunt has managed one of the largest and most sensitive portfolios on the Senate Allocation Committee – overseeing hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare and labor spending every year, often. Became the focal point of the policy battle on abortion and other issues.
He also serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, whose performance is one of the most bipartisan parties on Capitol Hill and most recently chaired a parliamentary committee hosting President Biden’s inauguration.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) On Monday called Blunt’s decision a “loss for all Republicans and Senate meetings”.
“In just ten years on this draft, he quickly became a true leader, senior policeman, and the driving force behind important victories in both conservatives and important bipartisan work,” said McCon. Nell said in a statement, “I am very sad that he will leave. But I’m glad this country has two more years to continue benefiting from his talent. ”
In a two-minute video announcing a surprising decision on Monday, Blunt cited “a helpful feeling of doing the job” in a look back at the parliamentary service, underscoring it. Discuss his role in funding medical research and improving mental health care.
“After 14 general election victories – three to seven district offices in the US House of Representatives and four statewide elections – I will not run for the US Senate again next year,” he said. Added: “There’s still a lot to do and I look forward to every day of this year and next year as I continue to work for you in the Senate.”
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, told reporters on Monday that Blunt’s decision – to join other GOP senators. Who chose to retire – “Talk about what’s going on in the Republican Party now.”
“That means Republicans are seeing their party as problematic as the one that’s going to have a really tough year next year,” he said.
But Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.), Chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee, referred to Trump’s 15-point victory in Missouri last year to guarantee Republicans would retain their seats.
However, such an analysis can bring about some complications that open seats can notice.
Over the past two decades, Missouri has shifted from a perennial swing state to a stable Republican territory as white, working-class voters have moved away from the Democratic Party. Fast But GOP strategists fear a divisive Republican nominee could run into trouble with talented Democrats, with concerns about potential comeback efforts. By former Governor Eric Greitens, who was previously the main potential challenge for Blunt.
Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, resigned in 2018 under threat of prosecution after he was charged with felony over an alleged blackmail program targeting women with whom he had an illegitimate relationship.Greitens admitted this. But it denied blackmailing and other harassment allegations were not committed, the charges were dropped. Last year, he accused his political foes of creating a project to oust him from office.
However, other Missouri Republicans can enter the race. GOP strategists involved with the state think Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Secretary of State John R. “Jay” Ashcroft, Lieutenant Gov. Mike Kehoe, Jason T. Smith and Ann Wagner, and former US attorney Tim Garrison can. Mount all trusted runs and others.
Ashcroft and Wagner released a statement Monday that they will explore their attendance as Greitens – in an appearance on the “War Room” podcast hosted by former Trump aide Stephen K. Blunt retirement
“The truth is [Trump] He needed a fighter, and he needed someone willing to fight behind America’s first term, and the truth was Sen. Blunt .. threw it on Mitch McConnell, ”he said.
Meanwhile, two of the most notorious Missouri Democrats said they would pass in 2022. Former Senator Claire McCaskill, who lost a seat in Hawley in 2018, tweeted Monday that she “won’t be down. Apply for the position again. “
And Jason Kander, former Missouri Secretary of State, who came in three points from defeating Blunt in 2016, said in a tweet that his previously announced decision not to run was in line with the Blunt decision
One Democrat who has entered the race, Sen. Scott Sifton, welcomed Blunt’s announcement on Monday.
“The Missouri people have the opportunity to vote for a better leader than they get from our two senators,” said Sifton, who represents the St. Louis suburbs. Josh Hawley in undermining democracy and separating Missouri people. ”
Sean Sullivan contributed to this report.