JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt will not run for re-election this year. In a stunning announcement Tuesday, Blunt said he had decided not to seek a second term because he had accomplished virtually everything he set out to do when he ran for governor four years ago.
Blunt already had raised millions of dollars for a potential re-election campaign. But he has trailed in the polls to Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon, who has been campaigning against Blunt for several years already. Just last week, Blunt delivered his annual State of the State address highlighting his past accomplishments and future spending proposals while giving no indication it would be his last such speech.
In a video statement released Tuesday afternoon, Blunt repeated assertions that he had balanced an out-of-whack state budget, boosted education spending and transformed the state's Medicaid health care system for the poor.
"After a great deal of thought and prayer, and with the knowledge that we have achieved virtually everything I set out to accomplish, and more, I will not seek a second term in the upcoming election," Blunt said. "Because I feel we have changed what I wanted to change in the first term, there is not the same sense of mission for a second."
Blunt also cited a desire to spend more time with his wife, Melanie, and their son Branch, who is almost 3 years old.
Watch Blunt's video address here on YouTube.