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Vicky Hartzler

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, is currently polling third in the Republican primary Senate race, just behind former Gov. Eric Greitens and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (Courtesy Photo)

Hartzler faces former Gov. Greitens and AG Schmitt in Senate race

By Tyson Fisher

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, is officially campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat from which Sen. Roy Blunt is walking away, but she faces some fierce competition.

On Feb. 22, the official opening day to file for candidacy, Hartzler was in Jefferson City ready to file. However, she is not the only high-profile Republican running in the Senate primary. Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, U.S. Rep. Billy Long of Springfield, and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt are among the other candidates Hartzler will be running against.

Hartzler hit the ground running. On the day she filed, Sen. Josh Hawley gave her his endorsement. Additionally, Hartzler received the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List, one of the largest anti-abortion organizations in the country. Those two endorsements alone put Hartzler in a good position for the pro-Trump voters to whom many Republican candidates across the nation are pandering.

“Missourians want an authentic, lifelong conservative to represent them in the U.S. Senate. I’m the only farmer running and I’m also a conservative teacher who believes we should be teaching our kids the ABCs, not the CRTs,” Hartzler told The Raymore Journal in a statement. “I’ve voted with President Trump 95% of the time, more than anybody in this race, and I’ve been ranked the third most conservative member of the U.S. House. That’s why Senator Josh Hawley has endorsed my campaign to join him in the Senate and stop the socialist policies coming from radical Democrats.”

However, Hartzler is polling in third place at 18%, according to a survey conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of Missouri Scout. Greitens is leading the pack at 25%, followed by Schmitt at 22%.

Despite stepping down as governor amid a sex scandal and allegations of campaign finances wrongdoing, Greitens is getting the backing of some Donald Trump loyalists, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani, Kimberly Guilfoyle and a few attorneys to Trump. Meanwhile, Schmitt’s endorsements include Sen. Ted Cruz, billionaire Peter Thiel, and former National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch.

Hartzler is no stranger to controversy. On Monday, Feb. 28, Twitter suspended her account after she tweeted “Women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women.”

“Vladimir Putin is a murderous psychopath who invaded a sovereign nation causing death and destruction, and is currently allowed to tweet,” Hartzler’s campaign said in a statement. “Yet, Twitter believes the bigger threat is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee saying women’s sports are for women. It’s shameful, utterly ridiculous, and a horrible abuse of censorship by big tech giants to stifle free speech.”

Hartzler’s television ad features William Thomas, who was ranked number 462 in NCAA men’s swimming before being ranked number one in NCAA women’s swimming.

Another notable name in the Republican race for the Senate seat is Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis attorney best known for brandishing an AR-15 outside his home in a gated community during the George Floyd protests in June 2020. He is currently polling at 5%, with only state Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, at 2%.