Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) is running for U.S. Senate against one of the most vulnerable incumbent Senators in the U.S., Claire McCaskill (D).
According to the polls, they're neck and neck. She's been accused of earning her office due to luck, and that's not entirely true. He's been accused of slacking on the campaign trail, and that's not entirely true.
What's indisputable, is that both candidates are in tough spots. McCaskill was the first member of Congress to endorse Hillary Clinton's initial bid for president, when her home state later supported President Trump by 20 points in 2016.
And Hawley has been hobbled dealing with Missouri's drama brought on by the state's GOP governor (who officially resigned today), while still overseeing 400 employees and a massive caseload while taking on a number of ambitious initiatives as AG.
So, tell us about this secret weapon:
Josh Hawley's biggest ally also happens to be a Constitutional law professor at the University of Missouri, just as the AG was before taking office. His confidant and counsel attended undergrad at Texas A&M under a scholarship for livestock judging after growing up on a remote ranch in New Mexico, and eventually the two became acquainted at Yale Law School.
Later, while sharing an office and clerking together for Chief Justice John Roberts in 2007, the pair formed a bond and mutual respect that turned into romance.
An accomplished attorney, teacher, writer, and soon-to-be published author, Josh's wife, Erin, is little-known in political circles. A tenured professor at Mizzou, she's currently on leave to help support Josh's campaign (among other initiatives) while raising their two young boys: Elijah (5), and Blaise (3).
When she took her position as a law professor at MU, Erin Hawley taught an agricultural law class — which surprisingly (for a school in an agricultural state) hadn't been available on the course schedule for years. She also taught Constitutional litigation, which she reflected upon with pride.
A pioneer woman:
Erin showed cattle in 4-H and judged livestock in FFA as a youngster. Growing up in Fulsom, New Mexico, 45 minutes from the nearest grocery store, she carries a true perspective of someone from a rural background.
And while she's always been an achiever, she explained to TheBlaze, "I always tell my students: I had a boss in an exit interview say, 'Erin, you can do anything.' But I tell them, 'you don't have to do it all at the same time.'" She reiterated: "I value that in this season."
This season means that Erin is able to take care of Elijah and Blaise, campaign for Josh, write for the Fellowship for Independent Women, all while also helping out her previous employer, law firm Kirkland & Ellis.
Mrs. Hawley is humble and discreet — but make no mistake, she is a force.
Her upcoming book, entitled, "Living Beloved: Lessons from our little ones about the heart of God" is slated for publishing this fall, by Tyndale House and Focus on the Family.
When asked about what she first saw in Josh, Erin said, "Of course, he is smart and articulate. But what drew me to him was that he invested in other people."
What's her take on the race?
Erin told TheBlaze: "Josh is a person of vision — he sees things as what they are and how they can be better. He's drawn to making an impact.
"He has always been about doing something with his life that was bigger than himself. He saw a law degree as a means to serve, rather than a large salary."
When asked why Josh initially decided to enter the political realm, Erin responded, "He saw the opportunity to serve Missouri, the state that he loves, and the people that he loves."
Josh Hawley has taken heat and accusations for being a ladder climber. In response to that, Erin says: "What I respect is that Josh didn't jump in at the first opportunity [to run for Senate]. We prayed about it for months, focusing on his character and priorities by what God has for him, not the next big thing."
She says, "Josh's record is probably one of the most active AG's in the country. He's taken on privacy rights with Google and Facebook, sex trafficking, and the opioid epidemic, among other initiatives."
Here, Josh's community from Lexington, Missouri, tells more of his story: