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Six candidates file to represent 4th District in Congress

Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 6:02 p.m. CDT; updated 6:54 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 29, 2012

COLUMBIA — Six candidates have filed to represent the 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which now includes Columbia.

Filing for positions opened on Feb. 28 and ended Tuesday.

District 4 candidates

Democrat Teresa Hensley of Raymore

Republican incumbent Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville

Republican Bernie Mowinski of Sunrise Beach

Libertarian Herschel Young of Harrisonville

Libertarian Thomas Holbrook of Warrensburg

Constitutional Party candidate Greg Cowan of Lebanon


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Candidates faced some uncertainty in filing because of confusion over new reapportionment boundaries. District maps hadn't been finalized at the time that filing began.

As a result of the 2010 census, Missouri lost one congressional district, ending up with eight. Boone County was placed in the 4th District, which includes 24 counties stretching from the Missouri-Kansas border to the eastern edge of Audrain County.

The 9th District seat held by Blaine Leutkemeyer was folded into the 3rd District.

The incumbent in District 4 is Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville. She will face five other candidates in November — another Republican, one Democrat, two Libertarians and one member of the Constitution Party.

Vicky Hartzler

Republican Vicky Hartzler was elected representative for the 4th District on Nov. 2, 2010, when she defeated 33-year Democratic incumbent Ike Skelton.

A Cass County native, Hartzler graduated summa cum laude from MU in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in education. She received her master's degree in education from what is now the University of Central Missouri in 1992.

Hartzler taught family and consumer sciences for 11 years. Her political involvement began when she was elected state representative for Missouri's 124th District, where she served three terms until January 2001.

Teresa Hensley 

Democrat Teresa Hensley of Raymore is prosecuting attorney for Cass County. She was appointed to the position in January 2001, then elected in November 2006 and again in 2010. She is also a recipient of the 2010 Missouri Attorney General's Justice Award for Domestic Violence Prevention.

Hensley said she is running for Congress because she wants to see change in Washington.

"I'm tired of the partisanship and gridlock in Washington," she said. "That keeps us from getting things done to create jobs and get the economy back on track."

Hensley also said she can bring more to the table because of her experience.

"As prosecutor, I have the experience and commitment to get tough jobs done," she said. "I look for the best ways to solve problems, not Democratic ways or Republican ways, just the best ways." 

Hensley is a Cass County native who received her bachelor's degree from William Jewell College and her law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

She is a certified law mediator who taught criminal law at William Jewell College and served as a practicing attorney for 14 years with the Hensley Law Firm before becoming prosecuting attorney.

Bernie Mowinski

Republican Bernie Mowinski of Sunrise Beach is retired from the U.S. Army, according to Lake News Online. He ran for state representative in Missouri's 155th District in 2010 but was defeated by Diane Franklin.

Herschel Young 

Libertarian Hershel Young of Harrisonville was elected county commissioner in Cass County in November 2010.

Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley took action against Young to oust him just hours after he took office the following January. The move was the result of a 1995 felony assault conviction, according to  The Cass County Democrat Missourian.

The Missouri Supreme Court heard Young's final appeal in November and ruled against him, but Young said he is appealing a second time.

He said he is running in the 4th District to serve the people.

"There's nobody that is running for the people of the United States; they're running for their own agenda or other people's agenda that's giving them money," he said. "We have so many puppets in Washington, D.C., and nobody that's there for the people."

Young said "we need to get rid of the puppets," and that as congressman, he would bring common sense and consider any question at any time.

Young is a small business owner in Harrisonville.

Thomas Holbrook

Thomas Holbrook is a Libertarian from Warrensburg.

Greg Cowan 

Constitution Party candidate Greg Cowan of Lebanon ran for the same seat in 2010 but lost to Hartzler.

He served 23 years in the Navy after enlisting as a seaman. He rose through the ranks until he retired as a lieutenant commander in 2004, according to the Pulaski County Daily.

Missouri's state primary elections will take place Aug. 7.


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