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Citing new map, Ashland's Walsh drops out of GOP primary

Sara Walsh
Abigail Young
The Columbia Missourian
Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, speaks with joint session attendees in July 2021. Walsh has announced Monday she is dropping out of the GOP primary race.

State Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, is dropping out of the Republican primary for the newly drawn 4th Congressional District, in essence because she believes she can no longer win.

The reconfiguration, which is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed, divides Boone County, placing the northern half in the 4th District and the southern half in the 3rd Congressional District.

That means Walsh and her likely voters are now in the 3rd District.

“Still, I voted for the map because I believe it was good for conservatives and good for Missouri. However, the newly drawn district that removes my strongest base of support has a severe impact on the chances of success for my campaign,” Walsh said in a statement Monday announcing her withdrawal.

“In good conscience, I cannot continue to ask for sacrificial contributions for my campaign from good people who are suffering under skyrocketing gas prices, soaring food prices, baby formula shortages and other inflationary challenges when my campaign may not be victorious,” she said.

Walsh was elected state representative for District 50 in 2017. Instead of running for reelection, she announced her bid for the 4th District in July 2021. Her husband, Steve Walsh, died of COVID-19 the next month.

“After a time of grief and prayer, I continued onward, partly in memory of my husband and partly to continue the race set before me,” Sara Walsh said in the statement.

Walsh did not endorse any of the other GOP candidates in the primary; rather, she encouraged her supporters to research them and make their own decision.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.