Republican Vicky Hartzler is looking to solidify her grip on Missouri’s 4th Congressional District, which she wrested away from longtime Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton in 2010, with a third term.
But she is being challenged by a young newcomer in Democrat Nate Irvin. Also on the ballot is Libertarian Herschel Young.
The 4th District covers 24 counties in the largely rural, west-central part of the state, including Cass County. It is Republican-friendly territory. Only Boone County, with the college town of Columbia, went Democratic in the last congressional cycle.
Hartzler rose to prominence in Missouri politics in 2004 as spokeswoman for the successful effort to ban same-sex marriage. She is endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee and has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
On Facebook, Hartzler speaks of “alleged man-made global warming,” and she supports the Keystone XL pipeline project. She opposes regulatory “over-reach” by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the Clean Water Act.
Hartzler voted for training and equipping moderate Syrian rebels.
She serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture and Budget committees.
Irvin’s website calls him “a grass-roots organizer” who traces his political ambitions to age 13 and his efforts to get a skate park for his town.
The biggest issue for Irvin is special-interest money in politics made possible by the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court.
“If we’re going to overcome any of our problems, we have to first solve the problem of too much money in politics and those with too much power buying influence,” Irvin said. “The voice of the individual gets drowned out by the corporations.”
He advocates a public-financing option for qualifying candidates. Candidates who opt out in favor of taking money from special interests would be liable for public shaming, he said.
Hartzler had raised more than $855,000 through September. Irvin had raised more than $1,200.
Irvin also speaks about education and says he will work to expand affordable access to college by keeping federal student-loan interest rates at fair and manageable levels.
Irvin favors recognizing same-sex marriages and legalizing marijuana.
On Facebook, Irvin says he fears the U.S. is repeating past mistakes by arming Syrian rebels.
Young said he’s for gun rights and free speech, but against the Common Core education standards and using tax dollars for abortion. He was elected to the Cass County Commission in 2010 but was removed because of a previous felony conviction.
Bethany Bashioum contributed to this report.
To reach Matt Campbell, call 816-234-4902 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Occupation: U.S. representative, farmer, co-owner of a farm equipment company
Education: Master of science, Central Missouri State University; bachelor’s, University of Missouri
Previous public service: Elected to U.S. House in 2010; former member of the Missouri House
Occupation: Small-business owner, fireworks distributor
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Central Missouri
Previous public service: None
LIBERTARIANHerschel L. Young
Occupation: FedEx driver; owns Young Services (hauling, removal)
Education: High school
Previous public service: Briefly on Cass County commission; Lake Annette alderman
Website: Facebook: Herschel Young-US Congress Candidate 4th District