ICYMI: Hawley brings ‘Fight for the Heartland’ to heart of the Ozarks

Hawley brings ‘Fight for the Heartland’ to heart of the Ozarks

West Plains Daily Quill
Abby Hess
July 12, 2018

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Josh Hawley, seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, stopped by the Quill office Tuesday afternoon.

“Hey, how’s it going? I’m Josh Hawley,” he grinned, as though his time as Missouri attorney general hasn’t made him recognizable in a newsroom.

Hawley was elected to the role in 2016 and is about halfway through a four-year term, which he will leave if elected to the Senate. He’s been called the state’s top GOP contender in the race by pundits, a bold call made in a primary race run with 16 candidates.

But Hawley has made a name for himself, first as an attorney serving on the legal team representing Hobby Lobby at the Supreme Court as the company challenged a law enacted under President Barack Obama that would require employers to pay for birth control for women. In the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, Hobby Lobby, a business said to run on Christian principles, said that law was a violation of religious freedom, and the court narrowly agreed.

Since taking office as attorney general in 2017, Hawley has been aggressively weeding out what he sees as threats to Missouri’s way of life.


Hawley stopped in West Plains as part of a state tour to promote his campaign for Senate. He had just arrived from Mtn. Grove, where he visited Earth Outdoor Store, and enthusiastically lavished praise on its offerings and encouraged a family outing to the retailer.

Originally from Lexington, a small town of 4,000 people west of Kansas City, Hawley said his family is rooted in farming on his mother’s and father’s sides. He has lived in the urban climate of Washington, D.C., where he clerked for the Supreme Court, and he lives in the central Missouri university city of Columbia. He said those experiences have shaped his views as a potential lawmaker — small town, rural living in particular.