Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri announced Monday he won't seek reelection in 2022, becoming the fifth GOP senator to say he will retire after next year's midterm elections.
"In every job Missourians have allowed me to have, I've tried to do my best. 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," Blunt said in a video message. "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 reelection to the United States Senate next year."
Blunt, 71, has served in the Senate since 2011, after 14 years in the House. He is currently the No. 4 member of GOP Senate leadership as chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, and was widely expected to seek reelection in 2022.
His decision to retire comes as multiple other GOP senators have announced their intentions to step aside. Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Rob Portman of Ohio and Richard Burr of North Carolina have all said they will decline to seek reelection for their seats. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson also recently told reporters that leaving office is "probably my preference now."
The wave of retirements comes as the GOP faces a reckoning over the party's direction following former President Donald Trump's defeat in 2020, one which will play out in primary battles over the vacant Senate seats.
Of the 34 Senate seats up for grabs in next year's midterms, 20 are currently held by Republicans. With the Senate evenly divided between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, the GOP will need to win 21 of the 34 Senate races to regain control of the upper chamber.
Blunt won reelection in 2016 by less than three points. In 2018, GOP Senator Josh Hawley defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill by six points. The state has also voted for Republicans in the last six presidential elections. Mr. Trump won the state by 19 points in 2016 and by 15 points in 2020.
Jack Turman contributed reporting.