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VOTERS GUIDE: Candidates for the 4th District U.S. House seat

Friday, August 3, 2012 | 3:05 p.m. CDT; updated 8:27 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 3, 2012

WHAT'S THE JOB? Members of the U.S. House of Representatives serve two-year terms. They must be at least 25 and have at least seven years of citizenship. They also must live in the state and district they represent. 

Republicans hold the majority in the U.S. House, which consists of 435 voting members and six non-voting delegates. Missouri will elect eight representatives to the next Congress after losing one seat in the wake of the 2010 census. The annual salary for representatives is $174,000. 

With this year's elections, Boone County becomes part of the newly drawn congressional 4th District of Missouri, where the incumbent is Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler. Boone County has recently been in the 9th District and represented by Republican Rep. Blaine Luektemeyer. 

Teresa Hensley (D) 

Hensley says she wants to provide a voice for the middle class, adding that small business growth is key for economic development. She supports balancing the budget "the right way," which would require large companies to "pay their fair share."

Hensley also said she would dedicate the necessary resources to Missouri’s military bases to keep them open and maintain Missouri jobs.

Hensley was appointed Cass County prosecutor in 2005, elected to the position in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Before becoming a county prosecutor, Hensley was in private practice with her husband.

She is the only Democrat vying for the U.S. House seat.

  • Personal: Age 53. Married to Kenneth Hensley. They have one son.
  • Occupation: Cass County prosecutor.
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree from William Jewel College, 1981; Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1991.
  • Background: Teaches safety training programs for women; sponsors local classes for those seeking permits to carry concealed guns; member of the Raymore Planning and Zoning Board and the Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Review Board; member of Raymore and Harrisonville chambers of commerce.
  • Campaign website: hensleyforcongress.com

Vicky Hartzler (R) 

Hartzler was elected to the U.S. House in 2010, when she defeated longtime incumbent Democrat Ike Skelton. She previously served in the state House from 1994 until term limits forced her out in 2001. 

Her campaign website says she wants to "repeal, diminish and defund" the Affordable Care Act.

"The law forces citizens to pay for health care services that they find morally objectionable and that violate their religious beliefs," she said in a news release after voting to repeal the entire law. 

Hartzler also favors allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. 

In the House, Hartzler serves on the House Agriculture and Armed Services committees. She also has sponsored bills to reduce the corporate income tax rate, and in July, she voted to allow the Governmental Accountability Office to audit the Federal Reserve. 

Hartzler lives in Harrisonville.

  • Personal: Age 51. Married to Lowell Hartzler. They have one daughter. 
  • Education: Bachelor's degree in education from MU, 1983; master's in education from from Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri), 1992.
  • Occupation: Before serving in the state House and U.S. House, Hartzler was a teacher for 11 years. She also owns a farm equipment company with three stores.
  • Background: Member of the American Home Economics Association, the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri Vocational Association, the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce and the University of Missouri Alumni Association.
  • Campaign website: vickyhartzler.com

Bernie Mowinski (R) 

Mowinski, of Sunrise Beach, could not be reached for comment and has filed no campaign finance reports. He has run three times for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives and once for the state Senate. 


Herschel Young (Libertarian) 

Young, of Harrisonville, said he is "tired of working to send people to Washington, D.C., that don't keep their word." 

"Instead of sitting back and complaining about it, it's time for me to go up there and make changes," he said. 

Young said he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act "as soon as possible." He also wants to change the tax code so that every American pays the same percentage of his or her income. 

"The federal government needs to stop trying to control people," Young said. 

Young added that all laws not in the U.S. Constitution should be repealed. 

  • Personal: Age 45. Married to Lori with children. 
  • Education: High school diploma.
  • Occupation: Self-employed, he owns two businesses. Young is a U.S. Army veteran. 
  • Background: Young is a former presiding commissioner of Cass County, but was removed from office by prosecutor Teresa Hensley, who is also running for the U.S. House seat. Young was convicted on a felony charge of assault in 1995, which barred him from holding the office of presiding commissioner. The Missouri Supreme Court upheld Hensley's action and removed Young from office on March 6. 
  • Campaign website: Young has a campaign Facebook page.

Thomas Holbrook (L) 

Thomas Holbrook said too many politicians are in the nation’s capital for themselves and not for the people.

He said he supports repealing the Patriot Act and placing the Federal Reserve entirely under congressional oversight. Holbrook also said he would do his part “to rein in the president” by introducing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to prevent executive orders from bypassing the legislature.

  •  Personal: Age 29. Single.
  •  Occupation: Overnight cashier at Walmart.
  • Education: Bachelor’s in history from the University of Central Missouri, 2011.
  • Background: While in high school, Holbrook was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, as well as a treasurer for one year. He briefly served as chair of the College Libertarians while attending the University of Central Missouri.
  • Campaign website: thomasholbrook.com

Greg Cowan (Constitution) 

Cowan did not respond to calls seeking information about his candidacy. Emails and calls to the Missouri Constitution Party requesting information about Cowan were not returned. He has filed no campaign finance reports.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.


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