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Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt won't run again in 2022

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is seen during a February 24 hearing of the Senate intelligence committee, at which they are hearing testimony on the nomination of William Burns as President Joe Biden's CIA director. Photo by Tom Williams/UPI/Pool
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is seen during a February 24 hearing of the Senate intelligence committee, at which they are hearing testimony on the nomination of William Burns as President Joe Biden's CIA director. Photo by Tom Williams/UPI/Pool | License Photo

March 8 (UPI) -- Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri announced on Monday that he won't run for re-election in 2022 after a quarter-century on Capitol Hill.

Blunt, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate rules committee, made the announcement in a video message posted online.

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"In every job Missourians have allowed me to have, I've tried to do my best," he says in the video. "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 re-election to the United States Senate next year."

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Blunt, 71, was elected to the Senate in 2010 and served in the House between 1997 and 2011.

Blunt is the fifth Senate Republican who has announced their retirement after next year.

Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., have also said they won't run in 2022.

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Democrats took control of the Senate in January after candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in runoff races in Georgia.

To gain back the majority, Republicans need to pick up only one seat in 2022, when they will also have to defend 20 seats -- including seats in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states carried by President Joe Biden in 2020.

Although Missouri typically votes Republican, Blunt's departure could pose an interesting scenario and an opportunity for Democrats. The state's other senator, Josh Hawley, has attracted considerable criticism in his home state in recent months, over his opposition to Biden's presidential victory and his actions during and after the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.

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