LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (KMIZ/AP)
A fourth Missouri GOP candidate is putting her name on the ballot for the US senate.
Missouri US representative Vicky Hartzler officially entered the state's crowded senate race that will be vacated by Senator Roy Blunt in 2022.
Hartzler announced her bid Thursday in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit.
Hartzler says her experience in Washington, D.C. separates her from other candidates.
She also said her work with the military, serving as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, her vote to cut taxes, and what she says is her stance against the Chinese government is what sets her apart
Representative Hartzler serves Missouri's 4th district.
She first took office in January 2010.
She said she wants to continue to fight even though it's a crowded race at the moment.
Hartzler's Republican challengers for the seat include three candidates with broader statewide name recognition. They are former Gov. Eric Greitens, state Attorney General Eric Schmitt and St. Louis lawyer Mark McCloskey, who made headlines last year when he and his wife waved guns at racial injustice protesters who marched down their private street.
Five Democrats also are running - Jewel Kelly, Lucas Junce, Tim Shepard, Scott Sifton and Spencer Todd.
Party primaries are scheduled for August 2022, and primary winners will run for the senate seat in the November 2022 general election.