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Sara Walsh withdraws from congressional race

Rep. Sara Walsh has withdrawn from the 4th congressional district race after she said redistricting put her outside the district. 

Walsh, a Republican from Ashland, said she voted for the new congressional maps that put her into the 3rd district because “it was good for conservatives and good for Missouri.” However, the new map, she said, removed her “strongest base of support [and] has a severe impact on the chances of success for my campaign.” 

Walsh announced her congressional candidacy in July, vying for a seat left open by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler who is running for U.S. Senate. Her campaign promise was to “defend the American dream.” 

She has served HD 50 in the legislature — encompassing parts of Boone, Cole, Cooper and Moniteau counties — since she was elected to the General Assembly in 2017. Prior to her time in the General Assembly, Walsh served as a Member Services Coordinator for the Missouri Pharmacy Association, a staff auditor in the Auditor’s Office, and the Program and Outreach Manager for the National Newspaper Association, among other things. 

During her candidacy, both Walsh and her husband, Steve Walsh, contracted COVID-19. Steve Walsh, who was an aide to Hartzler, died in August 2021 from complications from COVID pneumonia. 

“In some respects, it feels like a lifetime ago when my husband Steve and I decided to declare my candidacy for Congress,” Walsh said in a statement Monday. “After a time of grief and prayer, I continued onward, partly in memory of my husband and partly to continue the race set before me — to continue fighting for God and country like we did our entire marriage.” 

“In good conscience, I cannot continue to ask for sacrificial contributions for my campaign from good people who are suffering under skyrocketing gas prices, soaring food prices, baby formula shortages, and other inflationary challenges when my campaign may not be victorious due to the new congressional district map,” Walsh said. 

In her statement, Walsh did not endorse one of the other GOP candidates for the seat but instead encouraged her supporters to research and choose for themselves who they will back for CD 4. 

Other candidates include Sen. Rick Brattin, former news anchor Mark Alford, cattle farmer Kalena Bruce, Navy veteran Taylor Burks, and former police officer Bill Irwin. 

Former state Sen. Ed Emery had also launched a campaign for the seat but died on Aug. 6