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By Troy Treasure
Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt announced Monday, March 8 he would not seek a third term in 2022.
Blunt stated at a press conference in Springfield he felt good about his re-election chances.
“What I felt less good about (was) whether I wanted to go 26 years in the Congress or 32 years in the Congress and eliminate the other things I might get a chance to do when I leave the Congress,” he said.
“I was a little surprised. He’s only 71 years old,” Shelby County Republican Committee Chairperson Kathleen Wilham said Saturday of Blunt’s decision. “But, he’s been in it for four decades (counting elected state and national politics).
“I think we have a lot of young Republicans, men and women, who will probably be available to step into the slot and do an outstanding job, just like Sen. Blunt did,” Wilham added.
“I was somewhat surprised that Sen. Blunt has declined to run again for his senate seat,” State Senator Cindy O’Laughlin said in an email. “Roy has been the consummate politician and I don’t believe I’ve known anyone who could outwork him.”
Blunt’s last known appearance in Shelbina is believed to have been on Oct. 1, 2019 when he spoke at the Shelby County Historical Society and Museum.
Blunt was asked by a Herald reporter about the then proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Blunt correctly predicted the U.S. House of Representatives would likely impeach then-President Trump, but such a step might help passage of USMCA.
“It makes it more likely that the 30-to-40 Democrats that really need this USMCA vote have a better chance of convincing the Speaker (Nancy Pelosi) that, ‘If we’re going to go down this impeachment path, I’ve got to have some things in my district to talk about and I need this USMCA vote,’” Blunt said at the time.
Trump was impeached two months later; then acquitted in the Senate on Feb. 5, 2020.
USMCA was ratified in March 2020.
District 5 State Representative Louis Riggs cited two other specific Blunt efforts.
“Senator Blunt has been tremendously effective for all Missourians in the United States Senate, especially in the areas of rural broadband funding and helping push through COVID vaccinations in partnership with President Trump on Operation Warp Speed,” Riggs said.
Riggs represents Shelby, Marion and northern Monroe Counties.
Both Wilham and Riggs recalled Blunt’s tour of the museum.
“He didn’t just blow in and blow out,” Wilham said.
“His visit will be long remembered,” Riggs said. “He went through the exhibits like a fine tooth comb, asking questions and engaging with everyone involved.”
U.S. Congressman Sam Graves asserted Blunt’s public service places him among the elite in state political history.
“Senator Roy Blunt is the single most influential political leader in Missouri this century and the father of the modern Republican Party in Missouri,” Graves (R-Tarkio) said in a press release.