Democratic candidate for Fourth Congressional District Representative announced

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COLUMBIA - Renee Kennedy Hoagenson will represent the Democratic Party in the 2018 Fourth Congressional District election.

Hoagenson officially announced herself as the candidate to local activists at a reveal event Wednesday night.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) currently holds the seat Hoagenson is running for.

Hoagenson reached out to local activist MacKenzie Everett-Kennedy because she wanted the activists to know about her candidacy first.

"The activists have just been a tremendous amount of energy," Hoagenson said. "They're just really wonderful, good-hearted people that care about this government and care about each other, which is really wonderful to work with."

Both Kennedy and Hoagenson believe activists like the ones in attendance Wednesday aren't having their voices heard by the government.

They both referenced Hartzler's lack of presence at a Health Care Town Hall in February as an example of the representative "hiding from her constituents".

"For her to really just not show up at all and say those opinions and feelings aren't important enough for her to listen to, I just felt like it was time to jump in," Hoagenson said.

"She is actively denying them the opportunity to speak with her, to have town halls and this candidate is directly to those individuals, and that says a lot about this candidate," Kennedy added. 

Hoagenson said she had been wanting to run for a long time but got serious about it after last November's national election.

"I was in shock and disbelief," Hoagenson said.

One of the biggest platforms Hoagenson will campaign on is limiting campaign contributions.

"We must get money out of elections," Hoagenson said.

Hoagenson also stated her opposition to gerrymandering, limits on voter registration, and fracking Wednesday night.

She said the reason she is starting early in the election season because of the district's recent history of electing Republicans as its representative.

"We're definitely the underdog in this fight, but we can do it," Hoagenson said. 

Hartzler has not made any announcements about 2018.