Cole County resident Rik Combs has announced he will run as a Republican for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated with the retirement of current Sen. Roy Blunt.
Combs was a candidate for Missouri governor in 2020 and finished third as the nominee of the Libertarian Party. He also was a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives 59th District seat in 2018, Cole County public administrator in 2016 and Cole County clerk in 2014.
Combs said his political positions and philosophy are based on the free enterprise system, limited government, and liberty.
Combs served as a senior officer in the U.S. Air Force for parts of three decades before retiring and serving as CEO for consulting firm Baron AG from 2006-09 in Gainesville, Florida, according to his campaign announcement. He and his wife, Dr. Jill Brady Combs, returned to Jefferson City in 2009.
Blunt said Monday he will not seek re-election to a third term in 2022. Before election to the Senate, Blunt served seven terms in the U.S. House. He also served two terms as Missouri secretary of state from 1985-93.
As of Thursday, three Democratic candidates have announced intention to run: former state Sen. Scott Sifton, former Marine Lucas Kunce and Tim Shepard.
Combs is the first Republican to officially announce plans to run for the office.
The Associated Press contributed information to this article.