Former U.S ambassador and law professor Thomas Schweich announced Thursday that he will not run for U.S. Senate in 2010, clearing one hurdle for Congressman Roy Blunt's path to the GOP nomination.
Less surprising than his decision not to run was his immediate call to unite behind Blunt, who he has previously said would have trouble defeating probable Democratic opponent Robin Carnahan next year.
Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post Dispatch first broke news of Schweich's decision this afternoon via Twitter (how else?).
Schweich was not immediately available by phone, but released this following statement to reporters:
"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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