(JustPatriots.com)- Yet another Republican Senator has announced he will not seek re-election in 2022. This time, the announcement was a surprise.
On Monday, Roy Blunt, the 71-year-old senator from Missouri, said he would be retiring. In a video message, he said:
“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 re-election to the United States Senate next year.”
Blunt becomes the fifth Republican Senator who won’t seek re-election in the 2022 midterms. He joins Richard Shelby from Alabama, Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, Richard Burr from North Carolina and Rob Portman of Ohio in that group.
Two other Republican Senators are also apparently weighing their future options — Chuck Grassley from Iowa and Ron Johnson from Wisconsin.
One suspected reason that so many Republican Senators are not seeking another term is they don’t want to go up against the storm that’s likely to occur in the campaigns for the 2022 midterm elections. Many Republicans will be faced with the decision of either to support former President Donald Trump or go against him and face his wrath — even though he’s no longer in the White House.
Liz Mair, a Republican strategist, told USA Today that there’s a “trend” of many mainstream conservative Republicans “walking away from an environment in which traditional conservatism has been little rewarded, but jumping on crazy trains has been.”
She said the result of all this could be a series of elections “that pit die-hard liberals against a nuttier, and often deeply un-conservative and ethically compromised, breed of Republican.”
While some of the Senators who aren’t seeking re-election have been against Trump in the past, Blunt has not. He’s generally supported the former president, and didn’t give a specific reason for retiring, other than he’s served for so long.
Burr and Toomey, meanwhile, were two of the seven Republican Senators who voted to convict Trump at his impeachment trial last month. As a result, they would like have been the targets of pro-Trump candidates and advertising.
Republicans will now have to stare down another uncertain seat in the 2022 midterms. The GOP is already in the minority in the Senate — although only slightly and due to a technicality — and they can’t afford to lose more seats. On the contrary, they’re hoping to pick up some more seats to regain control of the Upper Chamber.
Missouri is mostly a red state, but Democrats in the state have been competitive, especially recently. In 2016, Blunt only barely eked out a victory to claim his current seat. He won 49.2% of the vote compared to Democrat Jason Kander, who garnered 46.4% of the vote.
There haven’t been any official announcements from Republicans who might run to claim Blunt’s seat. One potential candidate, though, is Eric Greitens, the former governor of Missouri. In the past, he’s criticized Blunt for not being loyal enough to Trump.