Rep. Nate Walker (R-Kirksville) has served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives and could have run for a fourth and final term next year.

Rep. Nate Walker (R-Kirksville) has officially announced his candidacy for Missouri’s 18th district Senate seat, becoming the fourth Republican to contend for the spot being vacated by Sen. Brian Munzlinger.

Walker has served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives and could have run for a fourth and final term next year. However with Munzlinger leaving the seat due to term limits and a feeling he can accomplish more in the Senate, Walker decided to run for the 18th district seat.

“I think I can have a bigger impact in the Missouri State Senate. I’ve served three terms this go-around since I’ve been back in the Legislature, and watching how the Senate has been operating I think there needs to be some strong leadership and change there,” Walker said.

Walker has previously called the Missouri Senate “dysfunctional.” He has some ideas on how to change that.

“I think they need to cooperate a little better with the House. It seems like during the last couple, three terms, the Senate and the House have not worked well together. The Republican Party, with the opportunity of having a Republican governor now, we should be accomplishing the goals and a lot of the opportunities out there that our party stands for,” Walker said.

Walker said his record in public service makes him a strong candidate in the crowded field, as does his record of standing up against special interests.

Walker’s stance against his party on a tax bill, in which he voted to sustain Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto, drew their ire.

“The billionaires, the big cats in the city, they don’t have a big sway on me and I don’t cave to their wishes,” Walker said.

Walker is undaunted by the large fundraising hole in which he finds himself to start the campaign. According to reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, O’Laughlin has $154,833 (including a $100,000 personal loan to her campaign), Redmon has $35,949, and Shumake has $10,676.

Walker reports $1,530 on hand in the October filing. His campaign raised $5,800 during the last quarter, including a $2,500 personal loan.

Six of the seven donations received by his campaign came from political action committees, with $1,000 from the Missouri REALTORS PAC, Inc.

A real estate agent and farmer, Walker holds an agriculture degree from the University of Missouri.

“Walker is an avid sportsman, a NRA member for almost 40 years, and a staunch defender of the rights of law abiding gun owners. He has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association for his strong defense of our Second Amendment Rights in the legislature,” a release announcing his candidacy says. “Walker is a father of two sons and is a strong supporter of pro-life issues. He has been endorsed by pro-life groups and Missouri Right to Life.”

Walker is an elder at the Kirksville First Christian Church and is active with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, Masonic Lodge, Shrine Club, Ducks Unlimited, Whitetails Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation and the Historical Society.

Walker joins Rep. Craig Redmon (R-Canton), Rep. Lindell Shumake (R-Hannibal) and Shelby County businesswoman Cindy O’Laughlin as candidates who will seek the Republican nomination next August.