Friday, Jan. 20, 2012
HENSLEY TO CHALLENGE HARTZLER
By Allen Edmonds, The Democrat Missourian
Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Hensley is preparing to challenge Republican freshman U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler in November for her congressional seat.
"This country is facing difficult issues," Hensley said late Friday afternoon. "I want to be part of those discussions. I am forming a committee and will be making a formal announcement in the near future."
Don Long, chairman of the Cass County Democratic Central Committee, said today that Hensley is doing exploratory work in preparation for a run at Congress. "The Hensley for Congress Committee will have a formal announcement later on," Long said.
Long said Hensley is a good candidate, given her influence in Cass County.
"I just love her to death as a candidate for this seat, he said. She's just the person to represent the working people of the 4th District, and not the special interests. We need someone who will fight to save Medicare and Social Security. Teresa is the consummate person to represent us in Washington.
The Democratic political blog "Show Me Progress" posted a headline late in the day Jan. 19 proclaiming Hensley as the challenger to Hartzler in 2012. Underneath the headline, the blog posted an email it had received describing Hensley's accomplishments as the Cass County Prosecuting Attorney and her beliefs as they translate to Congress.
"Hensley will provide a strong independent voice for the middle class," the email read.
"She believes it's wrong for politicians in Washington to be more concerned with scoring political points and looking out for special interests than getting things done for the people they represent. In Congress, Hensley will work with anyone from any party to jumpstart our economy."
Long said Hensley's concerns translate well to the redrawn 4th District, which now includes Boone County and the city of Columbia, home to the University of Missouri.
"We all know Boone County has interests in post-secondary education, which is definitely part of the Democratic Party's agenda," Long said.
He said Hensley plans on campaigning "every corner" of the 4th District, "but that one of her very, very big concerns is keeping things running in the prosecutor's office during this time."
There are multiple murder trials scheduled for the upcoming year in Cass County.
"We are building a very strong core group of people to help with the campaign, Long said. Everyone that knows her knows her level of commitment to the prosecutor's office, and we feel like we can back that by having key people in various areas of the district campaigning for her at times."
Long said he has already received a large number of calls from people asking for "Hensley for Congress" bumper stickers and other paraphernalia.
"We're very excited about that, even though it's a little soon to be getting involved in those kinds of active campaign activities. But we will have a formal announcement soon," he said.