COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
State Rep. Sara Walsh is dropping out of the Republican primary for Missouri's Fourth Congressional District, she said in a news release Monday.
Walsh had filed in to run in the district in February, before a new Missouri congressional map was drawn. Incumbent Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is not seeking re-election as she pursues the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Under the old map, Walsh lived in the Fourth District but the new map has placed Ashland in the Third District, a seat held by incumbent Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer.
Missouri's legislature passed the map on its final day. Gov. Mike Parson has said he will sign the bill creating the new map.
“As State Representative for Missouri's House District 50, I currently represent constituents in Southern Boone and portions of Cooper, Moniteau and Cole counties," Walsh said in her statement. "My current constituents are among my strongest supporters and dear friends and I was eagerly looking forward to representing them on a greater scale at the federal level, along with everyone else in Missouri's 4th Congressional District.
“Last week, the General Assembly passed a new congressional map that moved me and all of my current constituents into the 3rd Congressional District. Still, I voted for the map because I believe it was good for conservatives and good for Missouri. However, the newly drawn district that removes my strongest base of support has a severe impact on the chances of success for my campaign."
The new map splits Boone County into the Third and Fourth congressional districts. The map also divides Columbia down Broadway. Cooper and Moniteau counties are also in the Third District on the new map.
Walsh declared her candidacy last July. Her husband Steve Walsh, who worked for Hartzler, died in August from COVID-19 complications. However, she continued her campaign.
Walsh's exit from the Fourth District race leaves seven Republican candidates to seek the nomination, including one from Boone County -- former county clerk Taylor Burks. Luetkemeyer is facing four Republican challengers in his Third District.
One Democrat, Jack Truman of Lamar, is running for the Fourth District seat. Four Democrats, including Andrew Daly of Fulton, have filed in the Third District.
Walsh encouraged her supporters to research the Republican candidates before voting in the August primary.