By Alex Rogers, CNN
Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler launched her Senate campaign in a video Thursday, echoing former president Donald Trump’s slogan to “make America great once again” and touting her support for his border, military and economic policies.
“President Trump backed his words with action,” Hartzler said. “That’s what Missourians expect. And that’s been my mission every day.”
The former President’s endorsement in the red state could be crucial in the Republican primary for the seat left open by the retiring GOP Sen. Roy Blunt. Other Republican candidates, including former Gov. Eric Greitens, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Mark McCloskey, a personal injury lawyer who gained national attention last year when he and his wife Patty brandished guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, have also allied themselves with Trump.
In a video, Hartzler claimed that the Democratic party “has been taken over by socialists” and vowed to lead the GOP’s charge to take back control of the Senate.
“They are endangering our security, bankrupting our nation, killing our jobs, fueling inflation, harming our children, defunding our police, shredding our freedoms and rewriting our history,” said Hartzler of Democrats. “They are destroying the country you and I love, and they must be stopped.”
Hartzler also introduced herself as a “farm girl” who cleaned out hog barns and drove a tractor before becoming a teacher and a state representative. She then worked for an organization in 2004 pushing to pass an amendment to the state Constitution barring same-sex marriage. During the 2010 tea party wave, Hartzler defeated Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and has since served in the House on that panel and the Agriculture committee.
Hartzler could face other GOP House members in the Senate race. Reps. Ann Wagner, Billy Long and Jason Smith are all considering bids.