Politics & Government

GOP field to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Kit Bond narrows by 1

Republican Thomas Schweich who was eye-balling a race for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, said Thursday he's out....and backing Roy Blunt.

He suggested that his move is the only path toward party unity in what shapes up as a tough race for the Republican candidate against Democrat Robin Carnahan next year.

Former Sen. Jack Danforth was touting Schweich to Republicans far and wide not long ago. And Schweich had some other heavy hitters behind him, too.

Sarah Steelman now remains the lone Republican of any prominence still considering the race.

If she's a no-go, Blunt will have dodged a very big bullet in the form of a primary.

Steelman, by the way, isn't responding to phone calls from Prime Buzz these days.

Here's Schweich's statement:

"A few weeks ago, I stated that I was considering running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kit Bond. At that time, I indicated that I would only run if my candidacy would contribute to party unity and would make it more likely that Republicans keep the Senate seat.

"Since that time, I have met Republicans throughout the state to discuss the Senate race. These conversations were very helpful to me. However, as a result of these discussions, I have concluded that my entering the race would be divisive and probably lower the chances of keeping Sen. Bond's seat in Republican hands.

"I have also had the chance to speak with Rep. Roy Blunt, and he has addressed in a forthright and admirable way the issues that I and others have previously raised about his candidacy.

"As a result, in the name of party unity, I have chosen not to run for U.S. Senate. I believe that we should unite behind Rep. Blunt."

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