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Missouri AG Forms an Exploratory Committee to Run Against McCaskill in 2018

The 37-year-old Missouri AG Josh Hawley is gearing up for what will be one of the most competitive Senate races in 2018.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley will be launching an exploratory committee this week, taking the first step in challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) who is up for reelection in 2018.

Hawley is a political newcomer who won his first election in November, but that didn’t stop top Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence, to call on Hawley to run against McCaskill.

The Associated Press reported that “former Missouri Sen. John Danforth and prominent donor David Humphreys are among several high-profile Republicans who in April released a public letter encouraging Hawley.

Hawley also received support from Sam Fox, a big donor in Missouri who asked, “other GOP donors not to give to other candidates while Hawley decided whether to run.”

Before being elected attorney general, Hawley worked as an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and was part of the legal team that argued the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case “challenged a federal requirement to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives for employees.” It was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court struck down the contraceptive mandate in a 5-4 decision.

McCaskill is one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018. In 2016, President Trump won the state of Missouri by 19 points.