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State Rep. Justin Hicks enters congressional race to succeed Blaine Luetkemeyer

Rep. Justin Hicks, R-Lake St. Louis, laughs while speaking to colleagues on Friday, May 12, 2023, during the last day of the legislative session in Jefferson City, Mo.
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Rep. Justin Hicks, R-Lake St. Louis, laughs while speaking to colleagues last year during the last day of the legislative session in Jefferson City.

A St. Charles County state lawmaker is joining the crowded Republican field to succeed U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer.

State Rep. Justin Hicks of Lake Saint Louis announced Monday he’s jumping into the race to represent Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes portions of the St. Louis metro area and Mid-Missouri. Hicks, an attorney, was first elected in 2022 to represent Missouri’s 108th District, which takes in most of Lake St. Louis.

“We have career politicians that are up there who are more focused on getting the next soundbite rather than actually having real solutions,” Hicks said. “And it kind of leaves the American people to where we have to actually deal with the consequences. And we see that in the rising crime rates, the inflation rates that are going on, the lagging educational standards and the danger at the border. And we really need somebody in Congress that actually knows how to fix it.”

Hicks serves on the House’s Judiciary, Crime Prevention and Public Safety, and General Laws committees. This year, he introduced bills allowing the governor to appoint a special prosecutor in a county or municipality where the officeholder “failed to execute his or her assigned duty or is unable to faithfully or competently execute such duties.” He’s also pushed legislation to allow charter schools in St. Charles County.

“Missouri also deserves somebody who's a fresh face in politics, and also a conservative voice that is not going to go up there and create more issues,” Hicks said.

Hicks said he’s in favor of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s bill that would provide restitution for St. Louis-area residents who became sickened due to radioactive waste exposure. He also said he would support certain immigration policies that former President Donald Trump championed, including the so-called “Remain in Mexico” system that required people seeking asylum to stay in Mexico until a scheduled court date.

“We're all immigrants at one point or another in our history, and that's what this country is really founded on,” said Hicks, noting that his grandfather came to America from Italy. “But there is a lawful way to come into the country.”

He also said he supports providing aid to Israel as it continues its military campaign in Gaza “to ensure that the region stays stable.”

“I view aid in situations like this as a way to help bolster other countries without having to go spill American blood,” Hicks said.

Hicks joins seven other GOP candidates in the Republican-dominated district: state Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, former state Sens. Bob Onder and Kurt Schaefer, O’Fallon resident Arnie Dienoff, Fenton resident Brandon Wilkinson, De Soto resident Kyle Bone and Arnold resident Chad Bicknell.

Unlike Coleman, who can run without giving up her Senate seat, Hicks is forgoing up to six years in the House to run for Congress.

“My skills are best used up in Congress,” he said. “It's really about what I'm doing to serve the people of Missouri, it's not about myself.”

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.