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      Hartzler easily advances to general election

      U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler has defeated a Republican challenger to advance to the general election in her bid for a third term in office.

      The 53-year-old Hartzler defeated John Webb in Tuesday's primary. Webb campaigned as the more conservative alternative for Republican voters.

      Hartzler will face 25-year-old Democratic challenger Nate Irvin of Columbia in the general election, as well as the winner of a Libertarian primary between Randall Langkraehr and Herschel Young.

      Hartzler is a former school teacher and state lawmaker who in 2012 defeated Democrat Theresa Hensley, the Cass County prosecutor. She serves on the House Armed Services, agriculture and budget committees.