Democrat with best shot at winning Missouri’s 2022 Senate race not running
Nixon, who served 6 years as a state senator and 16 years as Missouri’s attorney general before winning election as governor in 2008, highlighted in a statement that he shared on social media that “I choose a different path.”
“I always thrived on policy more than politics,” Nixon emphasized. “My post-governor involvement on a myriad of matters is not filtered through a partisan lens — that is liberating and I want it to continue.”
Thanks to his high recognition and popularity in the state – he won reelection in 2012 by 12 points – some Democrats saw Nixon as the party’s only hope to recapture a Senate seat in a onetime battleground state that’s turned increasingly red in recent years. The former governor had received calls from national Democratic Party leaders following Blunt’s retirement announcement in March, inquiring on whether he’d launch a campaign.
Six Democrats have already launched campaigns, including former state Sen. Scott Sifton, former Marine Lucas Kunce, and former congressional nominee Gena Ross. And a handful of other Democrats, including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, are weighing bids.
Eight Republicans have declared their candidacy, including former Gov. Eric Greitens – who left office in 2018 amid multiple controversies – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Rep.Vicky Hartzler in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, in the predominantly rural west-central part of the state, and Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis attorney who along with his wife grabbed national headlines during the summer of 2020 for holding guns outside their home to warn off Black Lives Matter protesters.
And the Republican primary field may grow in the coming weeks and months, with Reps. Billy Long, Jason Smith and Ann Wagner all considering bids.