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ST. LOUIS - Ray Hartmann, longtime journalist and Riverfront Times founder, is officially running for congress. With growing concerns about the direction of the country, Hartmann aims to defend democracy and flip a long-red district blue.

Running as a Democrat in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District race, Hartmann’s campaign challenges incumbent Republican Ann Wagner, who has represented the district since 2013.

Hartmann shared more about his decision to run and more on Our Daily Show! on

“I’m concerned, like a lot of people are, about the direction we’re headed as a country - particularly when it comes to whether we’re actually going to have a democracy,” Hartmann said.

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He’s now putting that concern into action and feels confident in his ability to end the six-term incumbent’s reelection streak.

“This is a time that if you’re serious about being concerned, you’ve just got to raise your hand if you’re in a position like I am of having been in the public eye for so long,” Hartmann said. “I’m going to give it a shot and I think we have a very good chance of defeating Ann Wagner and flipping the seat.”

As a pro-choice Democratic candidate, Hartmann said the 2nd District is the closest one Missouri has to a “swing district,” where he feels he has the best chance of winning as larger national issues loom over the race.

“It is very definitely competitive,” he said of the 2nd District. “Nationally, suburban districts - partly because of Donald Trump, but partly because of reproductive freedom … that’s the place that Republicans are most vulnerable. As a Democrat, I think I have a real good chance.”

According to his website, Hartmann grew up in the 2nd District and graduated from Parkway Central High School. He worked as a daily newspaper reporter after graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, then went on to become a speechwriter for Missouri Gov. Kit Bond in 1975. At age 24, he founded The Riverfront Times and “built it into one of the top 10 newsweeklies in the nation” before selling the company in 1998.

To learn more about Hartmann and his congressional campaign, visit his website or see the full interview with Hartmann at the top of this story or on

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