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Missouri GOP Rep. Hartzler officially joins Senate race

Congresswoman Hartzler's office

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (AP) — Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who represents a very conservative and mostly rural area of central and western Missouri in Congress, has officially entered the state's crowded Senate race.

Hartzler announced her bid Thursday in the Kansas City suburb of Lee’s Summit. She's seeking to replace Republican Roy Blunt, who won't seek a third Senate term next year.

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 lesser-known Democrats also are running.