4th Congressional District Republican candidate Vicky Hartzler is calling for an end to Congressman Ike Skelton's ducking of public forums and is urging the 17-term liberal Democrat incumbent join her in four forums in October.
The Spring City Revitalization Group has already booked a forum for Friday, October 15, in El Dorado Springs -- with the sponsoring organization still waiting for an affirmative reply from Mr. Skelton. Vicky Hartzler's campaign is now calling on the reluctant-to-engage congressman to join her on October 8 in Jefferson City, October 22 in Warrensburg, and on October 29 in Camdenton.
"The voters in the 4th District deserve to hear from both of us as thousands of Missourians in this district are out of work," said Hartzler. "The people want an immediate solution to this problem and they have a right to hear from those who want to represent them in Congress discussing unemployment and other important matters. Mr. Skelton has refused to meet in a series of forums, leading us to wonder whether he is afraid to respond to the people who pay his salary. What does he have to hide?"
One of the many citizens who wants to hear the two discuss the issues is Lieutenant Colonel Tom Fitzpatrick, USAF (Ret.) who believes voters deserve an opportunity to see the two candidates together.
"I want to see Vicky and Ike on the stage, discussing the vital issues in this election," said Fitzpatrick. "As an American I want to be in a position to pose questions to both Ike Skelton and Vicky Hartzler. We are owed that from our elected officials."
Skelton campaign manager Jason Rauch, a D.C. liberal who claims to be working out of Missouri, has told the press that a forum had already been held in Sedalia in August. Only a political operative who is out of touch with Missouri politics would consider a private Missouri Farm Bureau event a public forum. If Mr. Rauch considers a private meeting a public forum then he must consider two people meeting in a restaurant to be a full-fledged, toe to toe debate. Interestingly, Vicky Hartzler left that private meeting in Sedalia with the Missouri Farm Bureau's endorsement.
Vicky and Lowell Hartzler live near Harrisonville in Cass County, where they operate a diversified crop and livestock family farming operation. They own Hartzler Equipment Company, a family business with three stores in the 4th District. A former classroom teacher, Hartzler served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1995-2000, winning with an average 66 percent of the vote in her three election victories. In 2004, she was spokesperson for Missouri's successful constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage, the nation's first.