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Republican Rising Star Announces Challenge to Claire McCaskill

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley made it official Tuesday: he’s running for Senate and challenging incumbent Claire McCaskill.

Josh Hawley Missouri

The 2018 midterm elections were never going to be easy for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), but they just got significantly more difficult with Tuesday’s announcement that Attorney General Josh Hawley will seek the Republican nomination to challenger her.

In an announcement video, Hawley argues Missouri needs a senator who will better represent Missourians. “She doesn’t represent us,” Hawley states in the video.

“Senator McCaskill? She’s been in D.C. forever,” Hawley said. “She’s turned her back on farmers. She’s ignored working families. She’s been wrong on every Supreme Court nominee for the last 11 years.”

“It’s time to do something new,” Hawley, 37, said.

McCaskill, 64, is seeking her fourth term in the U.S. Senate. Some have sought to draw comparisons to the race between Hawley and McCaskill to the 2016 Senate battle in Missouri between Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Democrat Jason Kander.

But the Associated Press explains why Hawley could have the advantage in 2018:

Unlike Kander, though, Hawley seems to have momentum on his side. Once considered a swing state, Missouri has turned decidedly Republican in recent elections. In statewide races in 2016, Republicans replaced Democrats as governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer, and Republican Donald Trump easily carried the state over Democrat Hillary Clinton. In fact, Republicans haven’t lost a statewide race since McCaskill defeated Republican Todd Akin in 2012.

While Hawley just announced his campaign today, one thing is for sure: this will be a race to watch for the next 13 months.