Missouri’s senior senator and her GOP opponent in November both oppose privatizing the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Senator Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley spoke at this Missouri Farm Bureau podium in Jefferson City on August 10, 2018 (Brian Hauswirth photo)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley delivered separate presentations Friday to more than 200 Missouri Farm Bureau members in Jefferson City.

McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, tells Missourinet she’s worked hard on this issue.

“Maintaining six-day delivery, maintaining every post office, giving communities input when post offices close,” McCaskill says. “Privatization would be terrible for rural Missouri.”

McCaskill’s committee held a Senate hearing in July on the potential USPS privatization.

“There is no way a privatization model delivers the same level of service to rural America as they currently receive. I know what privatization means for rural Missouri, and I will not go there on postal,” McCaskill said at the July 18 hearing in Washington.

While they’ve clashed on numerous other issues, McCaskill and Hawley have similar positions on privatization.

Both were asked about it by Farm Bureau members on Friday.

Hawley, who grew up in western Missouri’s Lexington, emphasized his Lafayette County roots while speaking at Farm Bureau. He also notes that his wife, Erin, grew up on a New Mexico ranch, miles away from a post office.

Hawley tells Missourinet he wants to preserve our network of rural post offices.

“I’m always for reform that makes things more efficient, but I worry about reforms that shut down rural post offices and make access to that more difficult for folks who live in rural areas,” says Hawley.

The USPS website notes the Postal Service has the nation’s largest retail network, “bigger than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart combined, domestically.”

The Postal Service does not receive tax dollars for operating expenses.

Missouri Farm Bureau members from 86 counties participated in Friday’s forum.

Farm Bureau trustees voted 82-4 to endorse Hawley, who beat ten other candidates to win the GOP Senate nomination last Tuesday.

McCaskill and Hawley were the only two Senate candidates at Friday’s forum.

While Libertarian nominee Japheth Campbell and Green Party nominee Jo Crain were not invited to participate, they will appear on the November ballot.

McCaskill is seeking her third Senate term. Hawley was elected Missouri Attorney General in 2016.

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