Tags: roy blunt | eric greitens | missouri | senator

Republicans Should Keep Blunt's Senate Seat

Republicans Should Keep Blunt's Senate Seat
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.,  announced Monday he would not seek reelection in 2022. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

By Monday, 08 March 2021 01:28 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Within hours of Sen. Roy Blunt's surprise announcement Monday morning that he would not seek reelection in 2022, speculation and maneuvering for his seat began among his fellow Republicans.

Early talk centered on former Gov. Eric Greitens, R-Mo., whose resignation from office in 2018 over ethical charges and recent divorce are likely to be liabilities in a sure-to-be contested primary.

As a result, several of the Show Me State’s six Republican U.S. Representatives and five of the six statewide officials who are Republican are receiving some mention for the nomination to succeed Blunt, R-Mo.

"Any decent Republican candidate should prevail and keep Roy's seat Republican," former Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, R-Mo., told Newsmax, citing his state's increasing Republican trend.

Considered a future presidential candidate, onetime Navy SEAL and best-selling author, Greitens watched his career go under as a result of an investigation into possibly illegal fund-raising during his winning campaign in 2016. 

Moreover, he experienced considerable embarrassment from revelations of an extramarital affair with his hairstylist.  Greitens finally resigned his governor but the charges in court on his violation of campaign finance laws were dropped— enough for him to claim victory and talk of a comeback.

Among the Republican House Members, Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., is considered the likeliest to make a Senate race.  A stalwart conservative from Southeast Missouri, Smith, 40, serves on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Any statewide official would presumably be a strong Senate candidate.  Among those most mentioned for the race is Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, whose father John served as governor, U.S. senator, and U.S. attorney general.

But like State Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Ashcroft is thought to be eyeing the governorship in 2024 (when incumbent Republican Mike Parson will step down).

Among Democrats, however, there was only hope for a bid by the candidate who waged a near-successful challenge to Blunt in 2016 — Jason Kander, former secretary of state and U.S. Army intelligence officer.  After taking himself out of a subsequent race for mayor of Kansas City in which he was considered a sure winner, Kander revealed he was grappling with mental health problems. 

With all of that behind him, the question for Kander is whether, at 39, he is ready to re-enter politics. 

At 71, Blunt is ending a career that began with his taking the position  as Green County Clerk in 1972 and, for all but four of the next 49 years, serving in elective office.  

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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John-Gizzi
Early talk centered on former Gov. Eric Greitens, R-Mo., whose resignation from office in 2018 over ethical charges and recent divorce are likely to be liabilities in a sure-to-be contested primary...
roy blunt, eric greitens, missouri, senator
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2021-28-08
Monday, 08 March 2021 01:28 PM
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