An overcrowded Republican primary is emerging in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, a solidly formed GOP seat that is also the only one of the state’s eight districts to have a new lawmaker by the end of 2022.
State Representative Sara Walsh R-Ashland on Wednesday became the latest candidate to enter the race to replace United States Representative Vicky Hartzler, who is candidate for the US Senate. During a campaign kickoff in Colombia attended by more than 80 supporters, Walsh said his life story of moving from poverty to the legislature, and hard work would help him win in August 2022.
As a girl, she said, “I’ve learned to keep my dreams big and my debts small. “
Walsh joins former State Senator Ed Emery by Lamar, Associate Commissioner Ryan Johnson from Cass County and state labor standards division director Taylor Burks from Boone County in the list of nominated candidates. Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden of Columbia released a statement Wednesday saying he “is seriously considering” entering the race.
Other potential candidates include the Sense state. Denny Hoskins of Warrensburg, Rick Brattin of Harrisonville and Sandy Crawford of Buffalo and Caleb Jones of Columbia. Missouri Scout, a subscriber-based information service, reported this week that Saundra McDowell, the 2018 GOP candidate for auditor, is also considering the race, while Daniel Hartman, director of state for U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, decided not to do it.
No prominent Democrat has surfaced to run in the 24-county district that stretches from Audrain County in northeast Missouri to the Kansas border. Since being reduced to his current limits in 2012, Hartzler has won five re-election campaigns with an average of 65.7% of the vote, winning every county in every election except the most populous County of Boone in central Missouri.
In her speech to supporters Wednesday, Walsh said she was running to protect the “American Dream.”
It represents Americans’ aspirations for a better life for themselves and their families, she said.
“But now this idea, this promise, this truth, is under attack,” Walsh said, identifying the Socialists,
Liberals, Democrats and “career politicians” as the enemy.
Speaking to reporters after her announcement, Walsh declined to respond if she believes President Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election. Hartzler voted against certification of the electoral college vote when the House convened after the January 6 uprising in Washington DC When asked if it was important for voters to know his point of view, Walsh said, “What is important to the people of 4th District of Knowledge is that hard work is amazing and you can make your dreams come true here in America through hard work, faith in God, and confidence in hard work.
Walsh won his first election in 2017, in a special election in the 50th Missouri House District. Walsh has been a member of the Republican State Committee since 2013. Walsh volunteered in Hartzler’s 2010 campaign and is married to Steve Walsh, Hartzler’s press secretary.
She hired veteran Republican consultant John Hancock for her campaign. Her years on the state committee made her known to Republicans across the state, he said.
“Sara has given so much of her time and effort to working for others, what goes around comes around,” Hancock said.
Burks, who served as Boone County Clerk from 2017 to late 2018, issued a press release Tuesday afternoon setting out when his campaign was to kick off. Burks
Burks is a US Navy Reserve officer and was stationed in Kuwait to support military logistics during the Iraq War. Active-duty military and veteran votes form a huge block in the district, which is home to both Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood.
“As a member of the fifth generation Missouri farm family, his voice in Congress will be theirs,” the statement said.
In the statement, he said he would limit himself to no more than 10 years in the House.
“Too many politicians see politics as a career and are more concerned with hanging on to their seats for decades than serving the people who elected them,” the Burks campaign said.
Emery was the first to enter the race after Hartzler announced she would run for the Senate.
“It’s not ambition that drives me, but what I see as a clear federal abandonment of biblical principles, national heritage, common sense, and the values that made America great. “Emery said in the Facebook post announcing his campaign.
Johnson is in his first office, scoring a narrow primary victory over an incumbent in August 2020. Johnson is a registered lobbyist for several Conservative organizations.
“The siege needs strong, uncompromising Conservative leadership and a proven track record in active service,” Johnson said in a press release when he entered the race.
Rowden’s statement on Wednesday hailed Walsh as a “friend,” but said the headquarters needed someone who would take on President Joe Biden.
“We have to take home and restore sanity to Washington,” Rowden said. “It is important that we appoint a proven Tory who will ensure that this seat remains in the hands of Republicans. “