KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This week on 4Star Politics, FOX4’s John Holt and The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling are joined by Bryan Lowry, The Kansas City Star’s Washington, D.C. correspondent, and Democrat consultant Rosetta Okohson.
The spotlight is on who has, and who hasn’t, thrown a hat in the ring in hopes of moving into the U.S. Senate that Sen. Roy Blunt will vacate in 2022.
While it’s early, more than a half-dozen Republicans have already expressed interest in the race. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, attorney Mark McCloskey, and former Gov. Eric Greitens have each launched campaigns.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler, the only woman so far, is expected to announce her intentions to run for the office soon. She’s also the only candidate from the Kansas City area to run.
“Right now everybody is from the St. Louis area,” Lowry said. “Just geographically she’s going to be pulling from a different base which always in a statewide contest, you’ve got to build a statewide coalition. Maybe she can build relying on some support from central and western Missouri, where she can tap in when maybe the others aren’t as well established.”
Lowry said Hartzler won’t be the only member of congress looking to take over the opening Senate seat. Reps. Jason Smith Billy Long and Ann Wagner have also shown interest in running. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon have also considered running, but neither have announced their candidacy.
Hartzler’s announcement will also shake things up in Jefferson City, where state lawmakers may consider the jump to her 4th District seat in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
No matter which office a candidate is running for, they are going to need to get out and create a bond with voters to earn support.
“Whatever that process will look like for being present and being in your face and that this is something that with a pandemic nearly in the rearview mirror right now with whoever is deciding to get out there, this is going to be a game of having conversations with voters and really reaching them exactly where they are,” Okohson said. “Folks not doing that and it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter when it comes to how you’re going to win and how you’re going to tackle that.”
FOX4 and The Kansas City Star are partnering to bring you 4Star Politics, a special digital venture with new episodes released Wednesdays at 5 p.m.