WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler has decided against entering the race to replace Sen. Claire McCaskill, labeled one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate after narrowly surviving her 2012 incumbent election.
McCaskill, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's ranking member, is expected to be replaced given Missouri's Republican shift, characterized by U.S. President Donald Trump's 19-point win in the state last year, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"After much prayer and discussion with my family I have decided to seek re-election to the United States House of Representatives," Hartzler said in a statement Monday. "I love the great people of the 4th Congressional District and feel honored to be their voice in Washington. I believe the best way to continue to serve them is by taking their common-sense ideas and Heartland values to Washington."
Hartzler, head of the House Armed Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, was one of several officials who was considering running for the seat and the second woman to take herself out of the running.
Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Miss., announced earlier this month that she wouldn't pursue McCaskill's seat, choosing instead to run for reelection in her own district, citing community and family as her motivation, as well.
McCaskill was first elected in 2006, when Missouri was still considered a purple state. After the state shifted red in 2012, her Republican opponent, Todd Akin, was favored to win, but his campaign fell to pieces when he made controversial remarks during an interview.