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(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat, announced Thursday he will challenge GOP Sen. Roy Blunt in 2016.  

“We can’t change Washington if we don’t change the people we send there,” Kander said in a video announcing his bid . “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.”  

Kander, 33, is a veteran of the Iraq War. He was elected as secretary of state in 2012 — the same year Sen. Claire McCaskill won re-election by defeating gaffe-prone former Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.  

“There is no stronger candidate in Missouri to take on Senator Blunt than Jason Kander,” McCaskill said in a news release. “And no one better to fight on behalf of Missouri’s working families.” Kander boasts McCaskill’s endorsement, as well as support from Gov. Jay Nixon.  

Blunt, 65, ascended to the Senate in 2010 after serving more than a decade in the House. He defeated former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan — the daughter of former Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan and sister of former Rep. Russ Carnahan.  

In January, Blunt told CQ Roll Call he plans to seek a second term .  

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the state in 2012 by a 10-point margin.  

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