JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – It’s official: Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will be seeking a U.S. Senate seat in 2018.
In a video released Tuesday morning, the Republican announced his intent to seek the GOP nomination in the 2018 August primary, finally putting to bed the question that people have been asking for months.
In the video, Hawley appears with his wife, Erin, and children in the kitchen, discussing topics like the economy, health care, and taxes, but not outlining any specific positions in the 80-second video.
“You would’ve thought that this last election would’ve gotten some folks’ attention in D.C.,” Hawley said.
“But maybe not,” Erin added.
“The D.C. career crowd just keeps on doing the same old thing,” Hawley continued. “And you know, the system works pretty well for them — they’re connected.”
That’s when the latest candidate to enter the race pivots and takes aim at one of Republicans’ toughest opponents: Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.
“Senator McCaskill — she’s been in D.C. forever. She’s turned her back on farmers. She’s ignored working families,” Hawley said. “It’s time to do something new.”
The former law professor from the University of Missouri-Columbia rose in the ranks with his first ever election in 2016, when he beat out former State Sen. Kurt Schaefer in the primaries before securing his spot as the next Attorney General for the Show-Me State.
During that campaign, Hawley repeatedly called out “career politicians” for “climbing the ladder,” which has come back to bite him as he now seeks a higher office less than a year after taking office.
Many have wondered why Hawley took so long to announce his intent to run, leaving some to speculate that he never truly intended to run for the seat. His video seems to confirm that theory, as he states that “this isn’t something we were planning to do, but we believe we have to do all we can to win a better future for our country.”
In the video, Hawley says that he does not intend to start campaigning for the seat until next year. However, that does not change the fact that McCaskill has already seemingly picked her opponent, running political ads against Hawley on TV.
But before Hawley would potentially face McCaskill for the seat, he would need to win in the Republican primary, where he currently will face the likes of Courtland Sykes and Austin Petersen. It’s also worth noting that some potential candidates have withdrawn their names, most notably State Treasurer Eric Schmitt, who decided to pull out and lend his support to Hawley earlier this past summer.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.