HawleyCOLUMBIA — The race for Attorney General now includes a conservative, as Boone County’s Josh Hawley launched his campaign on Thursday with an online video sent to grassroots activists across the state.

“In legislatures and agencies at every level of government, radical liberals are passing laws and regulations that attack every constitutional freedom we cherish,” Hawley said in the video. “We have to beat them at the Supreme Court.”

Hawley, a native of Lexington, Missouri, who is recognized nationally as a leading attorney defending religious liberty, has practiced at the Supreme Court and won. Hawley was co-counsel for the landmark case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, defeating the Obama Administration’s attempt to force business people of faith to violate their religious beliefs.

“This summer we watched as the Supreme Court took America further from its founding principles and you know the liberals will only keep pushing,” Hawley said. “As Missouri’s top lawyer, I will push back.”

A former clerk at the Supreme Court himself, Hawley has served as Senior Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and on the faculty of the University of Missouri School of Law. This is his first race for elective office – giving him an outsider’s perspective he thinks is needed in a state capital culture dominated by professional politicians.

“This campaign will not be easy,” Hawley said. “The special interests in Jefferson City don’t want change at all – sometimes it seems as though they run both parties. But you and I can beat them. We have the spirit of our nation’s founding behind us.”

Hawley and his wife, Erin, also a former clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court, are raising their young boys in central Missouri.