A former Missouri governor who resigned three years ago announced Monday on national television that he’s running for the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens speaks to reporters in downtown St. Louis on May 14, 2018, after the felony invasion of privacy charge against him was dismissed (file photo courtesy of Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Current U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) will not seek re-election next year, which will leave the seat open for the 2022 election cycle.

Republican Eric Greitens was elected as Missouri’s governor in 2016 and resigned in 2018, 17 months after taking office. He announced Monday on Fox News’ “Special Report” that he’s running for the Senate in 2022.

Greitens says Missouri needs a fighter in the Senate.

“They need somebody who’s going to go as I will, as I’m committed to do, to defending President Trump’s America first policies and also to protecting the people of Missouri from (President) Joe Biden, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and (Senate Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer’s radical leftist agenda,” Greitens told host Bret Baier.

Greitens has criticized President Biden, saying he’s created a border catastrophe.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office announced in 2018 that they dismissed a computer tampering case against Greitens, in exchange for the governor’s resignation. The charge involved Greitens’ alleged attempt to take a donor list from his former charity, the Mission Continues, without the permission of charity officials.

Baier also asked Greitens about allegations that he took a nonconsensual photo of a partially nude woman without her consent. Greitens, who has admitted to an extramarital affair with the woman, has denied any criminal wrongdoing. During the Fox News interview, Greitens blasted St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gardner.

“As you know, the George Soros-funded prosecutor who went after us, her investigator has now been charged with seven felonies for perjury and evidence tampering,” Greitens says.

Greitens is referring to William Don Tisaby, who’s case hasn’t gone to trial yet.

Gardner’s office dropped the invasion of privacy charge against Greitens, when a judge ruled that Gardner could be called as a witness by the defense. The case then was assigned to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who declined to file charges. Baker said her office did not have sufficient evidence to consider filing new charges against Greitens in the case, and said Gardner’s office did not provide all of the documents in the case.

When Gardner’s office dropped the invasion of privacy charge against Greitens, he still faced heavy criticism from Missouri House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, along with possible impeachment.

Then-Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R-Joplin) and then-Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) called for Governor Greitens to testify before a Missouri House committee in 2018. Richard and Kehoe said then that Greitens had lost the moral authority to lead the state, and called for his resignation.

Former House Speaker and former U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, who represented Greitens’ campaign staff, blasted that House committee’s investigation. She accused the chairman, then-State Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), of playing politics.

Greitens’ resignation took effect on June 1, 2018.

As for Senator Blunt, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and is finishing his second Senate term. The seat was previously held by U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (R), who served four terms from 1987-2010.

The last Democrat to hold the seat was U.S. Sen. Tom Eagleton, who served three terms until he retired in 1986.

Filing for the position begins next February in Jefferson City.

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