UPDATE 4:25 a.m.: With 100% of precincts reported, Republican incumbent Vicky Hartzler won the race for District 4. She received 67.60% of the votes, or 245,064 votes.
UPDATE 9:15 p.m.-- NBC News has called the race, and incumbent Republican candidate Vicky Hartzler has won her fourth term in Missouri's 4th District.
As of 9:15 p.m., Hartzler won the seat with nearly 68% of the vote. Lindsey Simmons took nearly 30%.
MISSOURI - Incumbent Republican candidate Vicky Hartzler and Democratic Candidate Lindsey Simmons are vying for a seat in Washington D.C. as Missouri’s 4th Congressional District Representative.
Hartzler is running for her fourth term. She was elected in 2011. She is the second woman elected from Missouri to congress. She is a wife, mother, small business owner and farmer.
Hartzler grew up on a farm in Archie, Missouri. Hartzler received her Bachelor in Education from the University of Missouri. Later, she went to University of Central Missouri to get her Master in Education. For six years, Hartzler represented Cass and Johnson Counties in the Missouri General Assembly.
Simmons has never run for any local, state or national office. She’s a seventh generation Missourian who grew up on a farm in Saline County. She graduated from Harvard and while pursuing her law degree, Lindsey worked in Senator Claire McCaskill’s office.
Upon graduating, she worked as an attorney. She decided to become an attorney after watching her grandparents struggle with the Medicare and Social Security systems.
Her husband is an Army helicopter pilot who is currently deployed. Together they have one son. If elected, she would be the first and only active duty military spouse in Congress.
The Heroes Act is a bill aimed to help the economy, business, individuals, public health and state and local governments bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hartzler voted against this bill.
“I feel like first that we should make sure that the money is targeted where there really are genuine needs and not just do a shotgun approach and go further in debt without that careful analysis,” Hartzler said.
Hartzler also wants to see more liability protections for schools, meatpacking plants, food banks and churches.
“As long as they are trying to the best of their ability to follow the CDC guidelines, they shouldn't have to worry about a frivolous lawsuit,” Hartzler said.
Simmons believes the COVID-19 response hasn’t been adequate. She said she wanted to see more rounds of stimulus checks sent out to eligible taxpayers and would fight to give hazard pay for frontline workers.
“So we have had, you know, economic struggles, education struggles and healthcare struggles certainly before that predate COVID-19,” Simmons said. “But what COVID- 19 has really done is exacerbate every single one of those problems. We're in the middle of a global pandemic, and we have had several healthcare institutions have to furlough their staff.”
She also wants to give priority to smaller businesses that are struggling because of the pandemic.
"Truly small businesses, not businesses that are publicly traded and making tens of billions of dollars per year, in our community need our support," Simmons said.
Hartzler wants to see more training for police officers.
“We have seen examples, sadly, of some rogue bad police officers who did things that they should not do that were against their training,” Hartzler said. “That is not acceptable. We need to beef up our training, we need to make sure that they have the equipment they need and for accountability, including new additional body cameras, so we can have that accountability.”
Hartzler co-sponsored the Justice Act, which includes provisions on training and access to discipline records. Hartzler believes a large part of police officers' duties is acting responsible.
Simmons wants to prioritize demilitarizing the police and wants to end qualified immunity, which keeps officers from being held liable in civil court for injustices.
"Civilian police should not be using military grade weapons and equipment on civilian streets,” Simmons said.
She wants to allow different resources to provide help to those in need who she believes would be better trained.
“We should not be asking police officers to do things that they really shouldn't be responsible for,” Simmons said. “We need increased assistance for mental health facilities. We definitely, especially here in the fourth district, need increased resources for drug rehab facilities.”
Hartzler wants healthcare that is affordable and helps people with pre-existing conditions. She supports legislation like the American Health Care Act to replace Obamacare. She’s also worked on legislation focusing on childhood cancer research.
Simmons wants to make sure every person has access to health care that’s affordable and accessible regardless of one’s ability to pay.
“No one in the United States of America should be too poor to live,” Simmons said. “We need to make sure that Medicaid expansion actually goes into effect and covers working people and make sure that they and their families have access to health care.”
She also wants to create a public health insurance option so that more people have health care coverage.
“When that healthcare is provided at a lower cost, people will choose it,” Simmons said. “And that will force healthcare other private healthcare insurers to provide more competitive rates to their customers and that will drive the cost of healthcare down for everyone.
Hartzler will be voting in person Tuesday. Hartzler does not typically host watch parties, and this year won’t be any different.
Simmons said she will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday with her campaign.