A Republican Senate candidate in Missouri said Wednesday that he will not seek reelection in 2018, a decision that could hurt Democrats’ chances of retaining the seat they won by more than six points in 2016.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told The Associated Press that his decision to step down “doesn’t mean that I’m not a candidate for re-election.”
Blunt, who is running for rezoning in the Missouri House district that includes Ferguson, said his decision was “not based on any sort of political considerations or any sort in politics.”
In a statement to The Associated Statesman, Blunt’s campaign said his position was “driven by the profound impact of the police shooting of 18-year-old Tamir Rice, the recent fatal police shooting in Minneapolis and the ongoing violence that continues to engulf our country.”
“The loss of this seat will affect the entire Missouri Senate, not just in terms of a race for reelect, but as an institution in terms, and for the nation,” the statement said.
Blunt will face Democrat Dan Schoen, who was elected in 2018.
Schoen has said he has “no interest” in serving another term.