Missouri GOP running for Senate releases ads critical of transgender athletes, including Leah Thomas

Missouri GOP running for Senate releases ads critical of transgender athletes, including Leah Thomas

A Republican House representative running for the Missouri Senate seat on Monday released an ad campaign targeting transgender athletes, specifically University of Pennsylvania swimmer Leah Thomas.

Rep. Vicki Hartzler called trans women “men pretending to be women” and vowed to keep them out of women’s sports in a provocative 30-second video.

It starts off next to Leah Thomas as “William Thomas” and her current photo for the Penn women’s swim team.

“Meet William Thomas, number 462 in men’s swimming. Meet Leah Thomas, the women’s world number one. Only one problem, it’s the same person, Hartzler begins.

“Some people are afraid to talk about it. Not me. I am Vicki Hartzler, I ran and coached women’s running, and I will not look away while awakened liberals destroy women’s sports, ”the congresswoman continues.

“Women’s sport for women. Not men pretending to be women.

According to Politico, the six-figure ad will run on the Show-Me staff from February 21 to March 18, coinciding with the NCAA Winter Championships.

Hartzler's commercial begins with side-by-side images of University of Pennsylvania swimmer Leah Thomas before and after her transition.

Hartzler’s commercial begins with side-by-side images of University of Pennsylvania swimmer Leah Thomas before and after her transition.

Hartzler targeted all trans athletes in a 30-second ad campaign that aired in Missouri later this month.

Hartzler targeted all trans athletes in a 30-second ad campaign that aired in Missouri later this month.

Thomas is a student at the University of Pennsylvania who played for the varsity men’s team for three seasons and recently came under fire after coming out as transgender and winning several first-place trophies on the women’s team.

Her place on the women’s team, where she’s ready to compete in Ivy League and NCAA championships, has angered people on both sides of the aisle who claim she has an unfair advantage over biological women and shouldn’t be on the team. Progressive activists praised Thomas as a trailblazer.

College athletes take both sides of the issue, sparking a national debate about how sex and gender play a role in collegiate athletics.

Hartzler is in the middle of a crowded nine-member GOP primary field that also includes her fellow House Representative Billy Long, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, and Mark McCloskey, a St. Louis lawyer photographed brandishing an AR-15 in front of Black Lives. Bred protesters near their homes.

The six-term congresswoman is the only woman running for the seat vacated by outgoing Senator Roy Blunt.

She previously pushed former President Donald Trump to ban transgender Americans from serving in the military.

Hartzler is running in a packed nine-candidate GOP primary to replace outgoing Senator Roy Blunt.

Hartzler is running in a packed nine-candidate GOP primary to replace outgoing Senator Roy Blunt.

It’s widely considered a safe place for Republicans, although some GOP operatives fear Greitens, who openly campaigns for Donald Trump’s support and has hired his son’s girlfriend Kimberly Gilfoyle as his campaign chair, a victory could turn him around.

Greitens was forced to resign as governor in 2018 following allegations of sexual assault.

Republicans fear a repeat of the 2012 race, when Democrat Claire McCaskill took the expected red seat after the GOP candidate sparked outrage over the “legal rape” explanation.

Multiple polls have shown Greitens in first place, although Hartzler may have gained support over the weekend thanks to support from another Missouri senator, Josh Hawley.

Hawley, a conservative, had previously called the progressives’ push to allow trans women to compete an “attack on women’s sports” and accused the left of creating “the crisis of American men”.

“Vicki has the integrity, heart and toughness to represent MO. I can’t wait to work with her,” Hawley said when he announced his endorsement.

Left-wing activists quickly seized on Hartzler’s advertisements.

Former NCAA wrestler and progressive Missouri local office candidate Justice Horn has said he supports Thomas.

Former NCAA wrestler and local progressive Missouri candidate Judge Horne called out Hartzler and said he supported Thomas.

Former NCAA wrestler and local progressive Missouri candidate Judge Horne called out Hartzler and said he supported Thomas.

Christine Hyman, the mother of a trans teen, called the ad

Christine Hyman, the mother of a trans teen, called the ad “vile”.

“As a former NCAA athlete here in your state, I support Leah Thomas and her right to compete in the NCAA as her complete authentic self,” Horn wrote on Twitter.

“The NCAA’s own policy also allows her to compete. We will organize against you so that no anti-LGBTQ candidate wins in 2022.”

And Kristin Hyman, who unsuccessfully ran for local office in 2020 and is the mother of a trans teen, called Harzler’s ad “nasty.”

I’m not afraid to talk about it either. It’s vile, filled with hate, and meant to instill fear. If Vicki had even a little knowledge on this issue, she would know that all this is not true, ”she said.

Originally from Texas and attending school in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania swimmer Thomas is not affiliated with Missouri Hartzler.

However, her presence on the women’s swim team has become a lightning rod not only for right-wing politicians, but also for ordinary Americans.

A Gallup poll last May found that 62 percent of the population preferred trans athletes to compete on sports teams of the same gender as they were born.

A majority of Democrats, 55 percent, said they should be able to compete according to their gender identity, while most independents and Republicans thought otherwise.

Former President Trump took advantage of the disappointment at his rally in Conroe, Texas, last month. He once again teased a potential bid in 2024, telling the crowd “we will ban men from women’s sports” if he wins.

Currently, 10 states have laws regarding transgender athletes.

Missouri bans transgender girls from participating in high school sports teams unless they are on hormone therapy, although last year the GOP-led state legislature considered a bill to outright ban it.

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