After a long career in politics in both the statehouse and on Capitol Hill, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt will not be seeking re-election next year.
“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 said Monday. “I want to thank my family and thank the great team that came together to help me work for you. Most importantly, thanks to Missourians, whether you voted for me or not.”
Blunt, 71, has represented Missouri in the U.S. Senate since 2010. He served as Missouri’s secretary of state from 1985 to 1993 and as a member of the U.S. House prior as well. His first elected office was as county clerk for Greene County in the 1970s.
During his time in the U.S. House, Blunt served as whip for six years. He is the dean of Missouri’s congressional delegation and chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee. He also serves on various Senate committees, including Appropriations, Rules, and Commerce.
Prior to holding office, Blunt worked as a history teacher and served four years as president of Southwest Baptist University.
Outside of politics, Blunt is a member of the Smithsonian Council for American Art and is a trustee of the State Historical Society of Missouri and the Kennedy Center.
“For 50 years, Roy Blunt has dedicated himself to serving the people of Missouri. A history teacher and the son of a dairy farmer, his traditional Missouri values made him one of the most effective members of the United States Congress,” Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said. “Roy Blunt’s American dream story is inspiring to us all.”
“Missourians will miss Roy Blunt’s principled leadership in the U.S. Senate, but we will never forget his adherence and devotion to the Constitution, his love for Missourians, his long list of accomplishments, and his impact on our state and nation,” Kehoe continued. “Claudia and I are proud to call Roy, Abby, and their family our friends. Missourians will have an important decision to make about who is best to fill this vital Senate seat in 2022. Claudia and I intend to spend some time talking with family, friends, and supporters about how I can best contribute to the future of our great state. ”
Former state Sen. Scott Sifton announced he would be running for Blunt’s seat last month. Democrat Timothy Shepard also filed to run with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley praised his senior colleague after the announcement.
“Roy Blunt has been a Missouri institution,” Hawley said. “A consummate legislator, Roy has worked tirelessly for the state he loves and has served Missourians with distinction. He and Abby have been true friends to Erin and me and our family. We wish them the very best.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman Rick Scott also commented on Blunt’s decision.
“Senator Blunt’s steady hand and wise counsel will be greatly missed in the Senate,” Scott said. “The NRSC will work tirelessly to ensure Sen. Blunt’s successor will uphold his legacy of free enterprise and small government, and we will hold this seat.”
Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins said: “Roy Blunt has been a tireless champion for Missouri agriculture for decades and knows our state better than anyone. Senator Blunt never forgot the lessons of hard work and common sense he learned growing up on a dairy farm in southwest Missouri. Our farmers and ranchers have been blessed to work with him in support of agriculture and Missouri values. We will miss his experience and wise leadership.”
“Of course, there is still much to accomplish over the next 22 months,” Hawkins added. “Senator Blunt has never shied away from tackling the tough issues throughout his years of service, and we know he will not stop fighting until the job is done. We look forward to working with Senator Blunt during his remaining time in office to help the people of Missouri, and we wish him all the best in retirement.”
Members of the Missouri Legislature — on both sides of the aisle — thanked Blunt for his service in politics.
“[Blunt] has done as much as anyone in modern history to move Missouri forward — in the majority…in the minority…it didn’t matter,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden said. “His slogan [Roy Delivers] was more than just lip service. It was his promise to Missourians…and he delivered!”
.@RoyBlunt has done as much as anyone in modern history to move Missouri forward — in the majority…in the minority…it didn’t matter.
His slogan, #RoyDelivers, was more than just lip service. It was his promise to Missourians…and he delivered!
Thank you for your service Roy! https://t.co/FkM12kIpxF
— Caleb Rowden (@calebrowden) March 8, 2021
“Although I often disagreed with him, I thank Sen. Blunt for his long service to Missouri and wish him and his family well,” Democratic Sen. Lauren Arthur said.
Although I often disagreed with him, I thank Sen. Blunt for his long service to Missouri and wish him and his family well. https://t.co/4nTLU8m2oe
— Lauren Arthur (@LaurenArthurMO) March 8, 2021
“Thanks for your service to our state and nation, Senator. You will be missed,” Rep. Travis Fitzwater said.
Thanks for your service to our state and nation, Senator. You will be missed. https://t.co/UaCMDgytEc
— Travis Fitzwater 🇺🇸 (@travisfitzwater) March 8, 2021
Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.