Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander will challenge in 2016 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Roy Blunt, Kander announced Thursday morning on Twitter and in a YouTube video posted on his website.
Kander, a Democrat, was elected secretary of state in 2012. Before that, he spent four years in the Missouri House of Representatives.
In his announcement video, Kander criticizes the tendency of Washington lawmakers to focus on “scoring political points” instead of “doing what’s right for our country.” Without mentioning Blunt by name, he says the senator, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996 and won his senate Senate seat in 2010, is “part of that problem.”
Kander, 33, portrays himself as part of a new wave of leaders that will bring change to Washington.
“We can’t change Washington if we don’t change the people we send there,” Kander says. “I believe it’s time for a new generation of leaders who’ve come of age at a time of unprecedented challenges and threats to our country, and who are committed to bringing people together and doing what’s right, no matter what the personal cost.”
In the announcement video, Kander, who served in the Army National Guard in Afghanistan, touts his record of rooting out corruption — from Afghanistan, to the State House, to his role as secretary of state. He also highlights his efforts around job creation and his work to help Ferguson in the wake of rioting in the St. Louis suburb.
The Missouri Republican Party responded to Kander’s announcement by issuing a statement calling the secretary of state “out of touch” and “short on experience.”
Correction: Feb. 20 at 7:45 a.m.
This story and its headline were updated to indicate that Jason Kander is bidding for the Senate seat held by Roy Blunt, but not yet challenging Blunt. Kander and Blunt must advance through primary races to face off in a general election. A previous version of the story and headline suggested that Kander was challenging Blunt.