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JEFFERSON CITY • A Missouri state lawmaker from Oakville is traveling to Washington D.C. later this month to discuss how she might bankroll a potential bid for U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s seat.

Rep. Marsha Haefner, a Republican, will be in the nation’s capital on Aug. 21 to help her determine if she can get the backing to run in what could be a crowded GOP primary, she told the Post-Dispatch Monday.

“I am very seriously considering it,” Haefner said. “I’m very optimistic, but I am also realistic.”

Haefner would be the lone woman in a Republican contest that has already drawn interest from Attorney General Josh Hawley, Rep. Paul Curtman of Pacific and Libertarian activist Austin Petersen of Peculiar.

McCaskill, a Democrat, is viewed as a potentially vulnerable incumbent after the 2016 election saw Donald Trump win by 19 percent.

Haefner, 66, is in the final of her four terms in the House and had been considering running for U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner’s congressional seat if Wagner had decided to run against McCaskill.

“I really have nothing to lose,” said Haefner, who has focused on health care issues and the state budget during her tenure.

She said despite a high-profile effort by prominent Republicans to recruit Hawley, her decision will be based on whether she thinks she can raise enough money to be competitive.

“I have to be realistic about finances,” Haefner said.

Among those seeking to draft Hawley are four former Republican U.S. senators, including John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, Jack Danforth and Jim Talent.

Hawley last week announced he was forming an exploratory committee to begin assessing a possible bid for the office.

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