(AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin is putting an end to the rumors: He will not make another run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.
Akin’s 2012 Senate bid was undermined when he remarked in a TV interview that women’s bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy from what he called “legitimate rape.” The St. Louis County Republican, who served six terms in the House, was soundly defeated by Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in the general election.
Akin recently made comments to a Washington, D.C., publication perceived by some as hints that he would challenge Republican Sen. Roy Blunt in the August 2016 primary, but Akin released a one-sentence statement Thursday that left no room for interpretation.
“In response to various questions: I will not be running for the U.S. Senate in 2016,” Akin said in the statement. Messages seeking further comment were not returned.
Akin, 67, told The Hill, a Washington newspaper, on Wednesday that “there is a high level of dissatisfaction among conservatives, that they have been pushed out of the Republican Party.” He said the Tea Party “is skeptical and wants some fresh blood, not just the same establishment guys.”
Blunt said during a conference call this week that he would not answer questions about the Senate race. He is expected to run for re-election but has not indicated when a formal announcement will be made.
Secretary of State Jason Kander, a 33-year-old Democrat, announced last week that he will run for Blunt’s Senate seat.