Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: October 13, 1960, Archie

Home: Harrisonville

Education: U. of MO, B.S. 1983; U. of Central MO, M.S. 1992.

Professional Career: Teacher, 1983-94; spokeswoman, Coalition to Protect Marriage, 2004; appointee, MO Women's Cncl., 2005-2010; owner, Hartzler Equipment Co.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Christian

Family: Married (Lowell) , 1 children

Republican Vicky Hartzler scored one of the biggest upsets of 2010 when she defeated 17-term Democrat Ike Skelton, the powerful chairman of the Armed Services Committee. A former activist who led the movement to ban same-sex marriage in Missouri, she has been an energetic social and fiscal conservative.

Hartzler has spent her entire life in rural Cass County, where she grew up working alongside her parents and sister on the family farm. Faith was a cornerstone of the household. “As farmers, we prayed for rain, and when it rained too much, we relied on prayer to hope that we had a crop that year,” she told National Journal. In high school, she excelled in athletics, captained the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams, and was a member of the track team. She was also editor of the school yearbook and president of the Future Homemakers of America. After getting her bachelor’s degree in education, Vicky married Lowell Hartzler, her college sweetheart, and went to work as a high school home economics teacher. She remained in the classroom for 11 years. The trajectory of her career changed in 1994, however, when Hartzler got a phone call from a friend while she was grading papers, urging her to run to be the district’s state representative. “He asked me to think about it and pray about it, and I did,” she said. “After 30 days, I knew I was supposed to run.”

Hartzler served three terms in Missouri’s House and counts overhauling Missouri’s outdated adoption statutes among her proudest accomplishments. In 2000, Hartzler decided not to run for reelection after her daughter, Tiffany, was born. Hartzler and her husband live on a 1,600-acre farm outside of Harrisonville, where they raise corn, soybeans, and cattle, and run the Hartzler Equipment Co., which sells farming equipment.

In 2004, Hartzler headed the Coalition to Protect Marriage in Missouri, a campaign to add an amendment to the state’s constitution banning same-sex marriage. Despite being outspent 17-to-1 by opposition groups, the amendment passed with 71% of the vote. The liberal magazine Mother Jones headlined an article about her in October 2010, “Is Vicky Hartzler the Most Anti-Gay Candidate in America?” She wrote the book Running God’s Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign, a detailed guide for Christian candidates published in 2008.

Hartzler’s bid to unseat Skelton in 2010 drew tea party interest. In the conservative district, Skelton had relied on crossover GOP voters in the past, but in an election year that went from bad to worse for Democrats, Hartzler’s message resonated. She assailed Skelton on his votes with “the liberal leadership” for the $787 billion economic stimulus bill and an energy bill imposing caps on carbon emissions blamed for global warming. “I don’t have a ‘To Do list,’ I have an ‘Undo list,” she said. “We have to undo all these destructive policies.”

The 78-year-old Skelton, who had gotten 62% of the vote or better since 1982, was wise to the threat. He ran an aggressive campaign, with a full schedule of appearances allowing him to emphasize his work on behalf of the military as Armed Services chairman. Hartzler tried to turn his image as a wise legislative elder into a negative, saying in her stump speech, “So many people in Washington (are) removed from rural America. Ike’s lost touch.” Skelton raised $3 million and outspent Hartzler 3-to-1. He maintained a steady lead in the polls. But then in late October, the race tightened, a sobering bit of news for Democrats who thought Skelton was safe. Hartzler prevailed on Election Night, 50% to 45%, with the remaining votes split by two minor candidates.

In the House, Republican leaders made good on their promise to give Hartzler a seat on Armed Services so she could continue Skelton’s stewardship of the district’s military bases. She added a provision to the House’s fiscal 2012 defense bill defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman for the purpose of military benefits and policy. The provision was dropped in conference with the Senate. She also introduced a bill preventing military veterans convicted of sexual abuse of children from being buried in Arlington National Cemetery. At a Family Research Council event in January 2012, she told anti-abortion rights activists she endorsed the controversial practice of using photos of aborted fetuses to make their points. “I’m a big believer in visuals,” she said.

After supporting Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget-cutting efforts, Hartzler picked up a seat on the committee in 2013. She was among the Republicans to dig in their heels and oppose the New Year’s Day 2013 bipartisan compromise aimed at averting the so-called “fiscal cliff.” During debate on the budget in 2011, she invoked the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely” in comparing President Barack Obama to a tyrant. A year later, she stoked another controversy when she told a town hall audience that she doubted the authenticity of the president’s birth certificate, “and I think a lot of Americans do.”

Under post-2010 census redistricting, Hartzler was forced to take on Democratic-leaning Columbia in her district, which was done to make other Republican districts safer. But she picked up more of her home base in Cass County from the old 5th District, and the newly drawn 4th remained solidly conservative. In the 2012 election, Democrat Teresa Hensley, Cass County’s prosecutor, stood little chance. Hartzler won 60%-35%, with two minor-party candidates again taking the rest.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2876

(202) 225-0148

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2235
Washington, DC 20515-2504

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-2876

(202) 225-0148

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2235
Washington, DC 20515-2504

DISTRICT OFFICE

(573) 442-9311

(573) 442-9309

2415 Carter Lane Suite 4
Columbia, MO 65201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(573) 442-9311

(573) 442-9309

2415 Carter Lane Suite 4
Columbia, MO 65201

DISTRICT OFFICE

(816) 884-3411

(816) 884-3163

1909 North Commercial Street
Harrisonville, MO 64701-1252

DISTRICT OFFICE

(816) 884-3411

(816) 884-3163

1909 North Commercial Street
Harrisonville, MO 64701-1252

DISTRICT OFFICE

(417) 532-5582

(417) 532-3886

219 North Adams Street
Lebanon, MO 65536-3029

DISTRICT OFFICE

(417) 532-5582

(417) 532-3886

219 North Adams Street
Lebanon, MO 65536-3029

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

30218 South Pleasant Ridge Road
Harrisonville, MO 64701-6300

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

30218 South Pleasant Ridge Road
Harrisonville, MO 64701-6300

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Animal Rights

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Arts

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Banking

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Commerce

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Disability

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Disaster

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Education

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Energy

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Environment

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Family

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Finance

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Gambling

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Health

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Human Rights

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Shaelyn McClanahan
Deputy Chief of Staff

Judiciary

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Land Use

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Medicare

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Religion

Shaelyn McClanahan
Deputy Chief of Staff

Small Business

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Abby Helms
Scheduler

abby.helms@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Transportation

Shaelyn McClanahan
Deputy Chief of Staff

Welfare

Joe Tvrdy
Legislative Assistant

joe.tvrdy@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-2876

Women

Alexis Alber
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Vicky Hartzler
Votes: 192,237
Percent: 60.31%
Teresa Hensley
Votes: 113,120
Percent: 35.49%
2012 PRIMARY
Vicky Hartzler
Votes: 71,615
Percent: 84.0%
Bernie Mowinski
Votes: 13,645
Percent: 16.0%
2010 GENERAL
Vicky Hartzler
Votes: 113,489
Percent: 50.43%
Ike Skelton
Votes: 101,532
Percent: 45.11%
2010 PRIMARY
Vicky Hartzler
Votes: 35,860
Percent: 40.46%
Bill Stouffer
Votes: 26,573
Percent: 29.98%
Jeff Parnell
Votes: 7,969
Percent: 8.99%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (50%)

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