“I am running for re-election to Congress because Missourians need a principled fighter who will hold the Biden administration accountable and stand up for what we believe and hold dear to our hearts,” Wagner said of her decision in an op-ed exclusive to The Missouri Times Tuesday.
“In Congress, I’ve worked hard for the good people of Missouri’s 2nd district. Being your congresswoman has never been a job for me; it is a calling,” she said. “The work I do in Congress — from putting forward legislation to protect our values to ensuring the veterans and every single person I represent in the St. Louis area receive the benefits they have earned to working with business and industry to grow economic opportunity for future generations — the 2nd congressional district is personal to me and my family. It is home.”
Wagner, a former U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and co-chair of the Republican National Committee, has held the seat since 2013. She is only the third Republican woman to represent Missouri in Congress.
Wagner slammed President Joe Biden, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democrats for disrespecting “our conservative Missouri values.” Specifically, she derided Democratic leadership for not supporting pro-life legislation, not securing the southern border, and not holding China accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must get back to advancing policies that reward hard work, reduce government overreach, and allow our businesses to innovate and thrive,” Wagner said. “I worked for years in the private sector for major Missouri companies, but I learned my most valuable lessons as a young girl while working at my parents’ small retail carpet store, Carpetime in Manchester, where I learned the value of a dollar and a strong midwestern work ethic where the customer comes first.”
“Nancy Pelosi and the radical Left don’t want to hear this, but I am a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, and a fighter. I’ll always fight to protect our conservative values, and I’m asking you for the honor and privilege to continue serving you in Congress.”
Wagner is the vice ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee. She was instrumental in the bipartisan success of legislation fixing VOCA, key to keeping victim advocacy groups afloat.
The congresswoman reported having nearly $1.2 million cash on hand in her second-quarter report. She successfully defended her seat in a closely-watched race last year, besting state Sen. Jill Schupp by about 30,000 votes. That same year, former President Donald Trump only won the district by about 100 votes.
In 2018, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley lost the district by about 4 points while Wagner won by 4; two years prior, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt won it by .2 percent, and Wagner won by about 21 percent.
The 2022 elections in Missouri are amplified due to redistricting and an open U.S. Senate seat. The seat is likely to become more Republican-leaning by the end of redistricting.
As it stands now, Missouri’s 2nd congressional district includes Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties. The last Democrat to hold the seat was Congresswoman Joan Horn who served one term in the early 1990s.
Democratic state Rep. Trish Gunby announced her bid for the 2nd congressional district Monday. Gunby was elected to the statehouse in 2019 during a special election in which she upset her Republican counterpart, raising about $156,000 for that race.
Wagner’s name had been floated as a potential candidate in the already crowded GOP field to replace Senator Roy Blunt. Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, former Gov. Eric Greitens, and attorney Mark McCloskey are vying for the GOP nod; Congressman Billy Long is expected to jump into the race this month.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.