Democrat Lindsey Simmons announced in late September that she would run against longtime Republican incumbent Vicky Hartzler in the 2020 race for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District. Simmons spoke to the Muleskinners on Friday at their weekly meeting at the Hy-Vee on Nifong Boulevard.

This is the first time Simmons has run for public office and will face challenges running against Hartzler, who is in her fifth term representing the district. Hartzler easily won the election in 2018, according to previous Missourian reporting.

Simmons is a Harvard Law graduate who resigned from her job at a law firm to fully commit to her campaign.

She emphasized her commitment to representing military families, particularly military spouses. If elected, she would be the first active-duty spouse to have a seat in Congress. Her husband is an army helicopter pilot and has been deployed to the Middle East twice, including Syria.

“This is about my family,” Simmons said.

Her campaign team is mostly made up of active-duty spouses.

“In 2018, when Trump decided to tweet that the war in Syria was won and that we were now going to abandon our allies — allies that helped my husband and his unit — I was pissed,” she said. “So I went to work.”

Simmons said when she reached out to Hartzler’s office to voice her concerns and share her story, she did not receive any response in any form.

“I decided that if she couldn’t give me the time of day, that was fine,” Simmons said. “I’ll just take her job.”

Much like Hartzler, Simmons grew up in a rural community in Missouri. Simmons grew up in Saline County, and her family owned farms in rural Missouri. As part of her domestic agenda, Simmons outlined the importance of investing in rural communities to increase access to health care and jobs and address crumbling infrastructure.

“There are going to be people who tell you it’s too hard, that people aren’t ready to vote Democrat, that it’s too gerrymandered, that it’s too red,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. People in this district care more about what’s right than partisanship, and that’s all Vicky’s been able to give us for 10 years.” Wiley Miller, a member of the Muleskinners, said what he heard was “mostly positive.” He said, “In comparison to the incumbent, there’s no contest.”

The Muleskinners is a club sponsored by Boone County Democrats.

Supervising editor is Hannah Hoffmeister.

  • State government reporter for the Missourian. Studying investigative journalism. Reach me at judyylucas@gmail.com or in the newsroom at 573-882-5700.

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