Birthdate: Oct. 13, 1960
Birth Place: Harrisonville, MO, United States
Residence: Harrisonville, MO
Religion: Evangelical Christian
First Elected: 2010
District: District 4
Vicky Hartzler was born in Harrisonville, Mo., and grew up on a farm in the Cass County town of Archie.
She earned a bachelor's degree in home economics and education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983 and a master's degree in education from Central Missouri State University in 1992.
She taught high school family and consumer sciences for 11 years in Belton and Lebanon, Mo., before winning election to the Missouri House in 1994.
After three terms in Jefferson City, Hartzler opted not to seek re-election in 2000, citing a desire to be at home more as a mother.
She served as spokeswoman in 2004 for a coalition backing a successful Missouri ballot measure banning gay marriage.
Hartzler was elected to the U.S. House in 2010.
She and her husband, Lowell, have an adopted daughter and own a farm equipment company with three stores in the 4th District. They tend cattle and row crops on a southern Cass County farm.
By defeating longtime Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton in 2010, Vicky Hartzler drew national attention to west-central Missouri's 4th Congressional District.
Once in Washington, she earned seats on two House committees _ Armed Services and Agriculture _ whose issues align closely with those in a heavily rural district that includes Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood, as well as the Jefferson City headquarters of the Missouri National Guard.
Skelton, who served in Congress for more than 30 years, was chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee.
Hartzler voted to repeal the 2010 health care reform law and co-sponsored legislation restricting the federal Department of Labor from regulating farm labor by children under 18.
In August 2012, she introduced a bill to allow states to reduce federal regulators' authority of lakes created by hydroelectric dams. The measure came in response to a boundary dispute at the Lake of the Ozarks in which some homeowners feared they would have to give up control of their shoreline property.
Hartzler's first congressional campaign was a political comeback of sorts. She first won election to the Missouri House in 1994 and served three two-year terms before deciding not to seek election in 2000 to spend more time at home with her adopted daughter.
Although she was out of office, Hartzler remained politically active. She served as spokeswoman for a coalition that supported a 2004 Missouri ballot measure banning gay marriage. The constitutional amendment passed with 71 percent of the vote.
She also was long active in the Missouri Farm Bureau and served on the board of directors of the Cass County chapter.
Former Gov. Matt Blunt appointed Hartzler in 2005 as chairwoman of the Missouri Women's Council, a state entity focused on helping woman achieve their economic goals. Hartzler also is the author of the 2007 book, "Running God's Way: Step by Step to a Successful Political Campaign."
After her August 2010 primary victory over state Sen. Bill Stouffer, Hartzler also picked up the endorsements of Stouffer and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
In the 2010 campaign, Skelton entered the race with a reputation as a moderate or conservative, but Hartzler criticized the incumbent by tying his voting record to more liberal Democratic congressional leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Hartzler has described herself as "100 percent pro-life and a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment."
She easily won the GOP primary in August 2012, turning back challenger Bernie Mowinski of Sunrise Beach. That sets up a November general election against Democrat Theresa Hensley, the Cass County prosecutor.
Like the 2010 campaign, the 4th District race has drawn attention from outside Missouri, particularly after an impressive fundraising effort by Hensley in the first quarter of 2012.
Source: Associated Press