After months of speculation, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler jumped into the U.S. Senate race Thursday — becoming the first congressional official and woman to do so.
Unlike other candidates, Hartzler didn’t make the campaign official on cable news. Instead, she traveled back to Missouri, telling those gathered at the Frontier Justice shooting range in Lee’s Summit she was running for the open Senate seat.
Hartzler, 60, drew on her faith while criticizing President Joe Biden and “socialist Democrat policies” in her campaign speech.
“Missouri will be key in the 2022 elections and our ideals are desperately needed,” Hartzler said. “As Missourians, we embody the values that made this country great. We embrace hard work, love our country, stand by our families, help our neighbors, hunt on weekends, go to church on Sundays, and just want the government to leave us alone.”
Hartzler represents a large and diverse swatch of Missouri in Congress, from the Columbia area sweeping west to just below Kansas City and down to Pittsburg and Lebanon, settling north of Springfield. Her journey to Congress came with the narrow defeat of longtime incumbent Congressman Ike Skelton. She is the second Republican woman elected to Congress in Missouri.
“I did a lot of praying and thinking about [running for Congress]. I was very concerned about the direction our country was going in and the leadership in Congress and how our representative was casting his vote with [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and policies that we did not believe in here in Missouri,” Hartzler told The Missouri Times earlier this year. “I felt like it was time to step back in and make a difference.”
Hartzler is a former home economics teacher and has a farm in Cass County along with her husband. They raise corn, soybeans, and wheat on their farm along with a cow-calf operation.
Hartzler is now in her 11th year in Congress. She has worked to ensure Gold Star families receive full insurance benefits and raise awareness about the “threat of China.” She’s advocated for religious liberties and is the only member of the Missouri congressional delegation to sit on the Agriculture Committee this year.
Vicky Hartzler Senate Launch from Vicky Hartzler for Senate on Vimeo.
In her announcement video, Hartzler claimed the Democratic Party was “bankrupting our nation, killing our economy, fueling inflation, harming our children, defunding our police, shredding our freedoms, rewriting our history.”
“They are destroying the country you and I love and they must be stopped,” Hartzler said.
Like the other GOP candidates vying for Senator Roy Blunt’s seat, Hartzler touted her connection to former President Donald Trump. She said she’s one of two members of Congress who voted in favor of and supported Trump’s policies more than 95 percent of the time.
“I’ve lived my entire life in Missouri. I am unafraid to proclaim my faith, my belief in freedom, personal responsibility, the rule of law, my unwavering support for our conservative and commonsense views and values, and to work passionately for what will make America great once again — standing up to evil whenever and wherever it surfaces,” Hartzler said. “I am the candidate for Senate who will ensure that this seat stays in conservative hands, and I am the candidate for Senate whom you can trust to fight for you — and win.”
Hartzler joins Attorney General Eric Schmitt, former Gov. Eric Greitens, and attorney Mark McCloskey in the race. The three men all announced their candidacies on Fox News.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn was the editor in chief of The Missouri Times from 2020-2022. 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.