Hartzler concedes, pledges to still fight in Washington D.C.
GARDEN CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler began her watch party at the Cider House in southwest Missouri's Cass County around the time polls closed Tuesday.
By the time the votes were counted, she was conceding victory before her supporters to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
Hartzler who has been the Representative for the 4th District in Missouri since beating out Democrat Ike Skelton in 2010, had hoped to replace current and retiring Senator Roy Blunt in the current election cycle.
Hartzler would be endorsed by former United States Senator Kit Bond and Current Senator Josh Hawley in the primary that had over 20 candidates in the race. In recent weeks polls began to show a three-person race for the seat with current Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt and former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
Supporter Debbie Phillip who has worked for Hartzler on previous campaigns was optimistic early on in the evening saying, "I think it will be a big win for America, because we need people like Vicky in the Senate. I am very excited for her and that is why I work for her cause I trust her. You can't trust everyone these days, when she says something, she works for something and does until she gets it done. And that's what I like about her."
Around 8:30 p.m. Vicky Hartzler came back out with a piece of paper and visited with a few supporters before returning to a room with her campaign team and staff.
Shortly after 9 p.m. Hartzler says she called Schmitt and congratulated him on his victory and told him that she would support the party in the general election against the Democratic nominee.
The congresswoman took the stage to thank her supporters and her campaign team. She also thanked the people of the Fourth District who had voted her into the House of Representatives in Washington.
Hartzler was endorsed by former Sen. Kit Bond and current United States Sen. Josh Hawley, whom she thanked for their support.
“It has been a blessing, we fought hard, we left no stone unturned, but unfortunately, The outcome wasn’t what we hoped for," Hartzler told supporters. "While the results didn’t go our way, we can be proud of the race that we run.”
In her concession speech she thanked her husband and daughter also reminded the people of the Fourth District of Missouri that even with the vote not going her way, there was still work to do in Washington, D.C.
"I have been honored to represent and fight for the good people of the Missouri Fourth Congressional District and I am not done. I will do my best to fight for them every day, until the next person is sworn into office next year," Hartzler said in her concession speech. "We have much to do between now and then and I will be focused on advancing their cause and cause of faith, family and freedom in Congress."
Hartzler left The Cider House Event Center around 10:30 p.m. and declined to give any other statements. Her campaign told ABC 17 News that her speech was going to stand on its own.
The congresswoman was the first Republican to hold the Fourth Congressional District seat since 1955. The member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Agriculture announced her candidacy for the Senate in June 2021.
Hartzler was considered one of three top candidates in the Republican primary, including former governor Eric Greitens and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Her campaign has attacked both men for political activity related to China and sought to portray her as the only legitimate conservative among the three.
Hartzler spent most of the past 30 days in the state campaigning as part of her Heartland Tour. She made a last stop in Columbia on Monday morning at the Missouri Cattleman's Association before ending her day in Springfield.
Hartzler has been endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, current Sen. Josh Hawley, The Missouri Cattleman's Association and Missouri Farm Bureau among others.