Blunt's path in Senate primary clears

Rep. Roy BluntRoy BluntSenate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Key Republicans ask Trump to keep on NIH director Overnight Defense: Trump reportedly picking Mattis for Defense chief MORE’s (R-Mo.) path in a Senate primary cleared after Washington University law Professor Thomas Schweich opted not to run and announced his support for Blunt.

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Schweich was being promoted for the race by former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.). State Treasurer Sarah Steelman is still expected to enter the primary against Blunt, who has the unofficial backing of the GOP establishment for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).

Schweich said in a statement: “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.”

Schweich then went a step further, endorsing Blunt.

“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,” Schweich said.

Schweich’s sentiments represent a sharp shift from last month, when he accused Blunt of mounting a “smear campaign” against him.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is the lone major candidate on the Democratic side for Bond’s seat.