Hartzler leading Skelton in Missouri US House race

Republican Vicky Hartzler is leading longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton in a close race for a west-central Missouri House district.

Hartzler was ahead of Skelton 50 percent to 45 percent, with two-thirds of precincts reporting results Tuesday.

Skelton is a 34-year incumbent who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He has been one of the top targets nationally for Republicans as they seek to win control of the House.

Hartzler has linked Skelton to President Barack Obama and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while suggesting he has lost touch with the conservative views of his constituents.

Skelton campaigned for re-election by emphasizing this commitment to military troops and veterans.

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