Vicky Hartzler

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Vicky Hartzler
Vicky Hartzler official portrait 117th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded byIke Skelton
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
from the 124th district
In office
January 4, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byGene Olson
Succeeded byRex Rector
Personal details
Vicky Jo Zellmer

(1960-10-13) October 13, 1960 (age 60)
Archie, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Lowell Hartzler
Children1 daughter
EducationUniversity of Missouri (BS)
University of Central Missouri (MS)
WebsiteHouse website

Vicky Jo Hartzler (née Zellmer, October 13, 1960) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 4th congressional district since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, she served as the Missouri State Representative for the 124th district from 1995 to 2000.[1][2]

Hartzler's district comprises a large swath of western-central Missouri, anchored in Columbia and stretching to the eastern and southern Kansas City suburbs, including a sliver of Kansas City. The district also includes Sedalia, Warrensburg, Moberly, and Lebanon.

Early years[edit]

Hartzler was raised on a farm near Archie, a rural community south of Kansas City. She attended the University of Missouri, where she graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in education, and the University of Central Missouri, where she graduated with an M.S. in education.[3]

Missouri legislature[edit]

Before running for state representative in 1994, Hartzler taught high school home economics (now commonly called family and consumer sciences) for 11 years.[4]

Hartzler's accomplishments included leadership on legislation facilitating the adoption process. She left the Missouri House of Representatives in 2000 after adopting a baby daughter. In 2004, Hartzler served as state spokeswoman for the Coalition to Protect Marriage,[5] which supported banning same-sex marriage in Missouri. Despite her opposition to the Missouri Assembly's ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment[6] ("I don't want women used to pass a liberal agenda"), in 2005 Governor Matt Blunt appointed Hartzler chair of the Missouri Women's Council, where she served for two years.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



After almost a decade out of politics, Hartzler entered the Republican primary for Missouri's 4th congressional district, which at the time was held by 17-term Democratic incumbent Ike Skelton. She won a seven-way primary with 40% of the vote.

Hartzler and family at swearing in ceremony at the United States House of Representatives

Hartzler won the November 2 general election with 50.43% of the vote. She is the first Republican to represent the district since 1955, and only the second since the Great Depression. She was also the second Republican woman elected to Congress from Missouri, after Jo Ann Emerson, with whom she served from 2011 to 2013. She is the first who was not elected as a stand-in for her husband; Emerson was originally elected to serve out the final term of her late husband, Bill Emerson. Republicans had been making gains in the district for some time; it gave John McCain 62% of the vote in 2008 while simultaneously reelecting Skelton, and Republicans hold most of the district's seats in the state legislature. While Skelton more than held his own in the areas of the district closer to Kansas City, Hartzler swamped him in the more rural areas, including areas that had supported him for over 30 years.

Hartzler ran on a conservative platform, voicing support for tax cuts and spending cuts. She opposes abortion[8] and same-sex marriage.

Missouri’s 4th congressional district election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Vicky Hartzler 113,489 50.43
Democratic Ike Skelton (incumbent) 101,532 45.11
Libertarian Jason Michael Braun 6,123 2.72
Constitution Greg Cowan 3,912 1.74


During her first term, Hartzler represented a district that stretched as far east as the state capital, Jefferson City, and as far west as exurban areas of Jackson County. Redistricting after the 2010 U.S. Census removed Cole, Lafayette, Ray and Saline counties—including Skelton's home. The district also lost its shares of Jackson and Webster counties. In its place, the district picked up all of Boone, Cooper, Howard, and Randolph counties, part of Audrain County, and the remainder of Cass County. The district now includes Cass County's portion of Kansas City.

In her first contest in the newly drawn district, Hartzler easily won the Republican primary with 84% of the vote against Bernie Mowinski and went on to win the general election with 60.3% against the Democratic nominee, Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Hensley.[9]

Missouri’s 4th congressional district election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Vicky Hartzler 192,237 60.32
Democratic Teresa Hensley 113,120 35.49
Libertarian Thomas Holbrook 10,407 3.27
Constitution Greg Cowan 2,959 0.93


Hartzler won nearly 75% of the vote in the Republican primary against John Webb, then won the general election by a more than two-to-one margin.[9]

Missouri’s 4th congressional district election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Vicky Hartzler 120,014 68.08
Democratic Nate Irvin 46,464 26.36
Libertarian Herschel L. Young 9,793 5.56
Write-in Greg Cowan 15 0.01


Hartzler won 72% of the vote in the Republican primary against John Webb, then won the general election by a more than two-to-one margin.

Missouri’s 4th congressional district election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Vicky Hartzler 225,348 67.83
Democratic Gordon Christensen 92,510 27.85
Libertarian Mark Bliss 14,376 4.33


Missouri's 4th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Vicky Hartzler (incumbent) 190,138 64.8
Democratic Renee Hoagenson 95,968 32.7
Libertarian Mark Bliss 7,210 2.5
Total votes 293,316 100.0
Republican hold


Missouri's 4th congressional district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Vicky Hartzler (incumbent) 245,247 67.6
Democratic Lindsey Simmons 107,635 29.7
Libertarian Steven K. Koonse 9,954 2.7
Total votes 362,836 100.0
Republican hold

Committee assignments[edit]

Hartzler with Vice President Mike Pence at a Value Action Team event in the United States House of Representatives.

Caucus Memberships[edit]

Ethics complaint[edit]

A complaint was filed against Hartzler's office stating a tweet from her Congressional account displaying Case IH's products violated congressional ethics rules. The products are sold at Hartzler's personal business, Heartland Tractor Company.[13] The House Ethics Committee has acknowledged receipt of the complaint but has not pursued any sanctions against her office.[citation needed]

Political positions[edit]


Hartzler is an outspoken opponent of abortion.[14][15] She has sponsored legislation in an effort to block taxpayer dollars from funding clinics that offer abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood,[16] as well as legislation such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.[17]

In October 2015, Hartzler was on the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood.[18]


In September 2013, Hartzler voted for a $39 billion reduction in SNAP benefits, which was separated from legislation to increase farm subsidies for the first time in over three decades.[19]

As a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, Hartzler served as a conferee to pass the final version of the Farm Bill in 2018.[20] Hartzler did not vote on the measure to pass the Farm Bill due to her father passing away in December 2019.[21] President Donald Trump signed the final version of the Farm Bill in December 2018.[22]

Hartzler has also been a staunch advocate for investment in rural broadband, which falls under the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee. She successfully led provisions Trump signed into law to increase private investment in rural broadband, modifying Rural Utilities Service broadband programs to include loan guarantees in addition to existing direct loans.[23] She also successfully led provisions to increase minimum download speeds from 4 to 25 megabits per second, with minimum upload speed tripling to 3 Mbps for companies receiving financing from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service fund.[24] In 2020, Hartzler introduced legislation to allow certain Rural Utilities Service borrowers to take advantage of low interest rates without heavy fines and penalties in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.[25]

Birther conspiracy theories[edit]

At a town hall meeting in Missouri on April 5, 2012, Hartzler expressed doubts about President Barack Obama's birth certificate.[26][27][28]


Hartzler rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. On November 18, 2014, during the worst early season cold snap in the U.S. since 1976, Hartzler made a joke about climate change on Twitter. "Global warming strikes America! Brrrr!"[29] The quip was rebutted in detail by The Washington Post, which reported that her district in Missouri is among the areas most severely impacted by climate change in the United States.[30]

Hartzler voted to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline on the federally protected lands of Indigenous people.[31]

Foreign policy[edit]


Hartzler supported the Trump administration's call to require the government to purchase only medical equipment and pharmaceuticals made in the United States. In 2019, she and Representative John Garamendi introduced legislation to require the Department of Defense to "identify vulnerabilities faced by our country’s dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals, and to only purchase American-made raw materials, medicines, and vaccines for the military."[32] In July 2020, Hartzler and Garamendi announced provisions of the legislation were ultimately rolled in the broader National Defense Authorization Act,[33] which passed the House of Representatives on July 21, 2020.[34]

As a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Hartzler was sanctioned by the Chinese government along with other prominent members of the federal government, including Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.[35] The sanctions against Hartzler and her colleagues came after Pompeo and the United States Department of Treasury sanctioned four Chinese officials for their involvement in alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang against the Uyghur Muslim population.[36]

On July 17, 2020, days after the announcement of sanctions against U.S. lawmakers by China, Hartzler wrote a Fox News op-ed expressing support for the Trump administration's sanctions on China and calling for the international community to impose similar sanctions. She also called on lawmakers to "expose U.S. companies complicit" in profiting from alleged slave labor in Xinjiang reeducation camps.[37]

Hartzler visiting the United States Army installation at Fort Belvoir, Virginia


In February 2016, during a trip to Israel, Hartzler voiced her support for the country and said, "our country has been blessed because we have been a blessing to Israel".[38]

In 2017, Hartzler supported the Trump administration's proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.[39]

In her capacity as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hartzler has supported legislation to bolster diplomatic and military relations with Israel, saying, "the United States partnership with Israel is crucial to protecting our national interests and strengthening our long-term security."[40]


Hartzler opposes gun control and advocates looser gun laws.[41]


Hartzler is a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act[42] and supported the American Health Care Act.[43]

Hartzler signing final version of the Farm Bill


In January 2017, Hartzler made a statement supporting Trump's ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries and halting the U.S. Refugee program for 120 days.[15] In her statement, Hartzler said Trump's executive order and Obama's 2011 policy that slowed immigration from Iraq were "similar".[44]

In February 2017, Hartzler supported Trump's rollback of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[45]

LGBT rights[edit]

Hartzler strongly opposes same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships.[14] She also opposes banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2019, Hartzler expressed her strong opposition to the Equality Act.[46] She has written an op-ed rejecting it.[47][48] She also opposes allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military.[49][50]

In 2019, Hartzler sponsored an event by proponents of conversion therapy in order to provide the use of Congressional office space, inviting a rebuke from Representative Ted Lieu, whose office was next to the event, and who sponsored legislation to ban conversion therapy.[51][52][50]


As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hartzler staunchly supports increasing military spending, saying, "[i]n order to maintain our competitive advantage in the era of great power competition, we must modernize our forces."[53]

Throughout her tenure in the committee, Hartzler has served as a conferee in the legislative process to pass the National Defense Authorization Act,[54] all of which the president has signed into law. She has led initiatives to fully fund the B-21 long range strike bomber program[55] and modernization programs of the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit based at Whiteman Air Force Base. She has also successfully advocated for funding for the maintenance and modifications to the A-10 Thunderbolt II program[56] and funding for the F-15EX program based in Missouri, the F-18 Super Hornet program, and the T-7A Advanced Trainer program. Hartzler has also successfully advocated for funding of the Fort Leonard Wood hospital replacement project and a partial dislocation allowance for service members forced to move from dormitories.[57][58]

On June 29, 2017, Hartzler opposed allowing transgender Americans to serve in the U.S. armed forces, and proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 to reverse an Obama administration policy that allowed transgender Americans in the armed services.[59] Her amendment was rejected in a 209–214 vote,[60][61] but Trump subsequently announced that he would ban transgender people to serve in U.S. military; Hartzler said that she was "very pleased" by the decision.[62]

Women's rights[edit]

Hartzler voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.[63]

Personal life[edit]

Hartzler lives on a farm near Harrisonville with her family.[3]


  • Hartzler self-published the book Running God's Way, Pleasant Word (a division of the now defunct WinePress Publishing; December 13, 2007), and then later Xulon Press; ISBN 978-1-4141-1124-7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Representative Vicky Jo Hartzler (Vicky) (R-Missouri, 4th) – Biography from LegiStorm". Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  2. ^ Former GOP lawmaker Hartzler wins 9-way contest, Associated Press (August 3, 2010).
  3. ^ a b Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler biodata,; accessed July 26, 2017
  4. ^ Purging the pain from political campaigns Murphree, Randall. April 2008; accessed January 3, 2009.
  5. ^ Missouri Begins Vote on Same-sex 'Marriage' Ban Phan, Katherine. The Christian Post. August 3, 2004. Accessed January 3, 2009
  6. ^ Lutz, Jennifer. "ERA supporters, opponents speak out". Missouri Digital News.
  7. ^ Former State Rep makes pitch to replace Ike Skelton in Congress September 2, 2009; accessed January 3, 2010.
  8. ^ Hartzler, Vicky (July 14, 2016). "Rep. Vicky Hartzler: Congress, we must protect Americans who disagree with abortion". Fox News. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Ashcroft, John. "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  10. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b "Marriage". Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Missouri, Kansas politicians weigh in on Trump immigration ban". Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  16. ^ "Hartzler Introduces the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2019 | Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler". January 9, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  17. ^ "Hartzler Speaks in Support of Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act | Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler". September 26, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  18. ^ Paul Kane (October 23, 2015). "Boehner's next select committee, focusing on Planned Parenthood, to be led by Marsha Blackburn". Washington Post. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  19. ^ "How Republicans Justify Cutting Food Stamps While Boosting Farm Subsidies". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Celock, John. "Obama Birth Certificate: Missouri Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler Expresses Doubt". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  27. ^ "Hartzler speaks in town hall: 'We don't want to go bankrupt'". Archived from the original on April 10, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  28. ^ "America's Most Anti-Gay Congresswoman Also a Birther". Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  29. ^ "Global warming strikes America! Brrrr!". Twitter. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  30. ^ "Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler wonders why it's so cold if global warming exists. Here's the answer". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  31. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  32. ^
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  34. ^
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  37. ^
  38. ^ Lazaroff, Tovah (February 23, 2016). "Visiting GOP congressman from Florida: Israel has done its utmost to promote peace". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  39. ^
  40. ^ "Hartzler Supports Bills Backing Israel | Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler". July 25, 2019. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  41. ^ "Vicky Hartzler on Gun Control". Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  42. ^ "Vicky Hartzler on Health Care". Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  43. ^ "American Health Care Act" (PDF). Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  44. ^ "There are major differences between Trump's immigration ban and Obama's 2011 policy". Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  45. ^ "Statement on President Trump's Executive Order on Fiduciary Rule". February 3, 2017. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  46. ^ "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
  47. ^
  48. ^ "House passes sweeping LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill in historic vote". NBC News. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  49. ^ By Liz StarkUpdated 3:04 PM ET, Wed July 26, 2017 (July 26, 2017). "Hartzler: Transgender service members 'costly' to military - CNNPolitics". Retrieved June 9, 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  50. ^ a b Republican congresswoman Vicky Hartzler is not sorry for promoting gay cure therapy
  51. ^ "GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler Helps 'Conversion Therapy' Group Hold Capitol Hill Event". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  52. ^ "Hartzler says she supports her office's help of group that believes in conversion therapy". The Columbia Missourian. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  53. ^
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  58. ^
  59. ^ "Hartzler Statement on NDAA Amendment to Reverse Obama Transgender Policy". Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler. June 29, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  60. ^ Lardner, Richard. "House rejects attempt to ban transgender surgery for troops". Associated Press. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  61. ^ "H.Amdt.183 to H.R.2810 in 115th Congress (2017-2018)". Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  62. ^ Lowry, Brian. "Trump blocking transgender troops comes after pressure from Missouri's Vicky Hartzler". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  63. ^ "Vicky Hartzler on the Issues". Retrieved July 4, 2017.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ike Skelton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 4th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Andy Harris
United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jaime Herrera Beutler