In anticipation of the upcoming general election, candidates with contested races that affect St. Charles County were offered the opportunity to participate in Mid Rivers Newsmagazine’s Election Preview.
Unopposed candidates were omitted from Mid Rivers Newsmagazine’s query, but are listed below. Candidates who were queried but did not reply by deadline appear by name only. Party affiliations are noted as Democrat [D], Republican [R] and Libertarian [L]. Candidates marked with an asterisk are incumbents.
• • •
• Hillary Clinton/Tim Caine [D]
• Donald J. Trump/Mike Pence [R]
• Gary Johnson/Bill Weld [L]
Candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative and Lt. Governor were asked: What will you do to provide a strong economic future for Missouri, and specifically the residents of your district? Candidates also were asked: Other than the economy, what do you view as the three most important issues facing local residents and what will you do to address these concerns? Replies to these questions appear below.
• Jason Kander [D]
Q. 1: We need to reduce red tape and provide common sense solutions to help businesses grow. That means closing tax loopholes for companies that send jobs overseas so we can support small businesses that create jobs here in Missouri. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and, as senator, I will work to make sure our tax system provides targeted tax relief for small businesses and make sure the middle class gets a tax cut. We need to make sure the minimum wage is a livable wage and end the gender wage gap so women earn equal pay for equal work.
Q. 2: We need to start considering higher education a necessity for the future of our economy and the country, not a bonus. There are multiple initiatives at the federal and state level that as your Senator I will fight for, including allowing students to refinance their student loans similar to a loan for a house or a car or placing a cap on federal student loan interest rates.
As a former military intelligence officer who volunteered to serve in Afghanistan, I understand that ISIS is the greatest threat facing our country, and the U.S. can’t tolerate cowardly acts of terrorism anywhere in the world. Congress needs to come together to pass an updated Authorization for Use of Military Force, so we have a targeted and comprehensive plan to destroy ISIS, which should include working with our allies, so our brave men and women in uniform are given a coherent strategy.
As veteran myself, I understand the importance of making sure every veteran has the opportunity for gainful employment and the tools and resources to succeed upon returning home. I have called for a larger solution to fix the broken VA system. That includes cutting red tape and reducing cumbersome paperwork requirements.
• Roy Blunt* [R]
Q. 1: Missourians are facing stagnant wages, a broken health care system and a still-struggling economy. To improve the economy/create jobs, the federal government must rein in excessive, burdensome regulations; create more certainty and fairness in the tax code; and improve our broken infrastructure system, which is key to growing the economy and creating more good-paying jobs. I also believe that we must repeal and replace Obamacare with workable solutions that always put the patient first.
Q. 2: I’m focused on repealing and replacing Obamacare with a health care system that puts patients first. President Obama’s massive health care takeover has led to fewer choices and higher costs, leaving many to feel as if they have no health insurance at all. I’m committed to replacing Obamacare with a system that will make quality care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.
As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS, I secured a $2 billion increase in NIH funding, the largest in over a decade. From finding new ways to treat cancer or leukemia, prevent Alzheimer’s disease or help people suffering from other rare or common conditions, many of the answers will continue to be through the NIH. Life-saving medical research will save lives and taxpayer dollars.
I’m committed to fighting the opioid epidemic and working in my role as chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor/ HHS to ensure our state has the resources it needs. In my first year as chairman, my bill more than tripled the funding that would go to fight the opioid epidemic, and I have again proposed an increase this year. In the past two years, the increase would amount to a 542% increase.
• Jonathan Dine [L]
Q. 1: I believe all Americans are entitled to keep the fruits of their labors. As your senator, I will call for the repeal of the federal income tax and the abolishment of the IRS. In the last few decades, the federal government has exploded in size. No area of your life or business is free from the meddling of politicians – especially your wallet. It doesn’t have to be that way. With less government and lower taxes, you could keep more of what you earn. It would be easier to start new businesses, build new homes and fuel real economic growth.
Q. 2: Term limits, tax reform and criminal justice reform are my top issues. I believe the biggest political problem in America is the career politician. I believe we need a change now, and across-the-board term limits are the answer. For a congressman, six two-year terms are enough. Senators should be restricted to two six-year terms. The time for the career politician to go is long overdue. Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often and for the same reasons. With term limits politicians are more likely to do good for the people instead of always worrying about getting re-elected.
I support the legalization of marijuana and treating drug use as a health issue not a criminal justice one. Criminal laws should be limited to violation of the rights of others through force or fraud. I believe in our current economic state that we simply cannot afford to keep arresting three people every minute in the failed war on drugs, our tax money can be spent more wisely. Half of what is spent on police, courts and prisons is non-violent drug related. I want free up law enforcement resources to be able to better focus on violent crimes and real criminals.
U.S. Representative – District 2
• Bill Otto [D]
Q. 1: First, I would fight to protect the monies our hardworking families have already earned in the forms of pensions and Social Security. Second, I would fight to protect the jobs we currently have by voting against ill-conceived trade agreements like TTP. Third, I would fight to create more good jobs with good benefits in the Greater St. Louis area by working with small business owners to expand the great companies we have right here and add more new jobs.
Q. 2: Protecting Social Security and Medicare, protecting and expanding our middle class, and working to protect women’s rights and fight for equal pay for equal work – those are the things Missouri families can count on from me. I’ll fight to fully fund our kids schools and I’ll fight against Washington DC politicians who want to implement more unfunded mandates, not on my watch.
• Ann Wagner* [R]
Q. 1: At the age of 12, I started working in my parents’ family business, a retail carpet store called Carpetime, in Manchester. Working alongside my parents, I learned the value of a dollar, a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, and that government ought to get out of the way and off the backs of hard-working Americans simply trying to provide for their families. I believe that the federal government spends too much, taxes too much and regulates too much. If we cut government spending, we can grow good-paying Missouri jobs and work to expand investment opportunities for American families.
Q. 2: When I sit down with families from the area, I hear two things: they are concerned for their economic future and concerned for the security of our nation. I am too. American leadership has faltered internationally and President Obama is not doing enough to stop ISIS. This failure has left our nation vulnerable to attacks by radical Islamic terrorists here at home. I believe that America needs stronger leadership that supports her allies, protects our borders, and will do what is necessary to stop ISIS.
Washington also has a spending problem. Federal bureaucrats spend too much and the IRS taxes American families too much. We need to cut up the government’s credit card, which is why I’ve made the tough choices by consistently voting against raising the debt ceiling and voting to cut billions out of the federal budget.
During these chaotic economic times, American families deserve better opportunities to save for their future. I believe all Americans should have access to affordable investment advice for their retirement. In Congress, I will continue the fight to give Missouri families the freedom to decide what type of savings best fit their needs and goals without government interference.
• Jim Higgins [L]
Q. 1: The best and only way to promote growth and development is to get the government out of the way. The free market does a superior job at allocating resources and labor in an efficient manner. Government actions can only interfere and disrupt the working of the free market. Government should not regulate business nor should it provide subsidies and tax incentives for specific companies and industries.
Q. 2: Education – Students are little prepared for the workforce. Currently the public schools have no incentive to improve because they are guaranteed an income through taxes regardless of performance. It’s time to allow parents choices in the education of their children. I would propose education tax credits which would allow parents to use their education dollars as they see wish. This would introduce competition which in turn would bring about innovation.
Government growth – I would work to curb government spending. It is fiscally irresponsible to run such a large debt and morally wrong to pass on our bills on to future taxpayers. I would propose an across the board freeze on new spending. I would cut the military budget; we do not need bases all over the world. I would cut the budget of all regulatory agencies, they only smother economic vitality.
Immigration reform – For the most part undocumented immigrants are good hard working people trying to improve their situation. The undocumented immigration problem exists because it is very difficult for them to enter the country legally. The wait time can sometimes be measured in decades. We should reform our immigration laws to allow more legal immigrants from all countries.
U.S. Representative – District 3
• Dan Hogan [D]
Q. 1: A strong economy starts with more money in the pockets of Americans. We need to revamp the tax code to make it simpler and the taxes on Americans less burdensome. I also think we need to significantly reduce corporate and business taxes, leaving more money for reinvestment and job creation. We also need to eliminate the repatriation tax so that companies holding money overseas can bring it back for reinvestment. We also need to work on our infrastructure. Infrastructure reinvestment supports commerce and creates jobs.
Q. 2: Personal freedom – The government is encroaching too much into our personal lives, we don’t need a national babysitter. People should be allowed to determine how they live their lives. If your life doesn’t negatively affect the life of another, it is nobody else’s business how you live yours.
Congressional issues – Our representatives are making elected office a career change and not a public service. Because of this and partisan politics, Washington is ineffective at ensuring that things are run properly. It is time that we install term limits to get rid of the dead weight who has occupied office for so many years, and make way for new ideas. We need people in office who actually want to work for the common good and not for their personal interests.
Education – The federal government needs to get out of education and let each state make the decisions that are best for them. We need to eliminate common core and standardized testing and allow the teachers to do what they do best – teach.
• Blaine Luetkemeyer* [R]
An extensive look at the governor’s race will appear in the Nov. 2 issue of Mid Rivers Newsmagazine. Therefore, candidates for governor were omitted from this Q&A.
• Chris Koster [D]
• Eric Greitens [R]
• Russ Carnahan [D]
• Mike Parson [R]
Q. 1: I will continue working to lower taxes, reduce the regulatory burden on Missourians and pass common sense reforms, like tort reform, that will help our economy grow.
Q. 2: Tort reform is one of the most important issues facing our state. Our state’s litigation environment is ranked 42nd in the nation by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, and frivolous lawsuits have become a tremendous problem for Missouri families and businesses.
We also have to start working to better serve our veterans. Too many retired veterans are being forced to wait to receive the nursing care they need because our veterans’ home system does not have enough available beds to serve them, and I will work hard to encourage the state to allow veterans to seek care at facilities outside of the system, closer to home.
Finally, we must continue standing up against federal overreach and fighting for our Constitution. The federal government has continually overstepped its bounds, adopting new mandates and regulations that interfere with Missourians’ rights. I will work hard to stand up for our freedoms and undo the damage that has been done by federal overreach.
• Steven R. Hedrick [L]
Secretary of State
Voters in November will have the opportunity to decide whether photo identification should be required to vote after Jan. 1, 2017. Candidates were asked: What is your position regarding Missouri Constitutional Amendment Six and protection of voters’ rights? Other than voters’ rights, what do you view as the three most important issues facing Missourians and what will you do to address these concerns? Replies to these questions appear below.
• Robin Smith [D]
• John [Jay] Ashcroft [R]
Q. 1: I am casting a “Yes” vote on Amendment Six, requiring voters to identify themselves with a photo ID is common sense. I also support allowing voters to receive an ID free of charge to ensure there is no undue burden to vote.
Q. 2: Over the past decade, the office of secretary of state has been riddled with mismanagement, ballot language is too often confusing and intended to manipulate elections, and election mishaps have gone unchecked. I’ll assume the responsibility as the state’s Chief Election Officer and pledge to ensure that the will of Missourians is top priority, not a political agenda.
The secretary of state is responsible for the registration of new business, the publishing of new regulations and the oversight of Missouri’s securities industry. In each area, I will work to modernize business laws to ensure we can compete in our ever-evolving economy. I’ll work to eliminate barriers to creating a business, reduce fees and help stop job-killing regulations. We need leaders focused on job creation and as secretary of state it will be my top priority.
• Chris Morril [L]
Candidates were asked: What will you do to provide a strong economic future for Missouri, and specifically the residents of your district? Candidates also were asked: Other than the economy, what do you view as the three most important issues facing local residents and what will you do to address these concerns? Replies to these questions appear below.
• Judy Baker [D]
• Eric Schmitt [R]
Q. 1: While in the state Senate, I authored two of the largest tax cuts in Missouri history and consistently opposed crushing taxes and Obamacare mandates that stifled economic growth and made it tough for families to make ends meet. Missouri needs lower taxes and less regulation. I will leverage the state treasurer’s office to fight for the middle class – to continue to support lower taxes and a more robust economy. As treasurer, I will make smart investments and I’ll always put Missouri first.
Q. 2: In the St. Louis area, we must focus on quality, affordable education, accountable government and helping all Missourians.
My wife and I are fortunate to send our children to public schools in the St. Louis area. In the state Senate, I supported millions of dollars in increases to public school funding. I also passed legislation to improve the MOST 529 program by permitting parents to invest their state tax refund via direct deposit into their child’s college savings account. We must continue to make higher education more affordable and this reform will help.
As treasurer, I will have a program called, “Show-Me Checkbook.” All state spending will be published online in an easily searchable format so all citizens can monitor how state government is operating.
Finally, as treasurer I will continue my work in the disability community. I passed the MO ABLE Act, which provides for savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. This program helps individuals save for future needs, such as education, housing and transportation. The treasurer runs the ABLE program and I will make sure Missourians who need this program have access to it. I will continue to be a strong voice for Missourians with disabilities.
• Sean O’Toole [L]
Q. 1: Economic prosperity is dependent on a high rate of employment. Missouri shares borders with eight states competing for jobs and economic growth. Rather than poaching out-of-state businesses with negotiated incentives, we should aim to make our state the most attractive place to be for all businesses and individuals. A good start in this regard would be an end to the state income tax and an end to business and occupational licensing. I will lobby the state’s legislative bodies to adopt legislation in this direction.
Q. 2: The office of the state treasurer is very limited in powers and scope. The only function of the office that is not a broad-based economic function is the return of unclaimed assets to their rightful owners. As an administrative officer of the state, the state treasurer does not legislate and, therefore, issues outside the purview of the office are outside the influence of the state treasurer.
Candidates were asked: Why are you running for this office and what are your top priorities if elected? Replies to this question appear below. Candidates also were asked: What are your qualifications for holding public office? Replies to these questions appear below.
• Teresa Hensley [D]
Q. 1: In my 10 years as county prosecutor, I made child protection one of my top priorities, with over 90 child sex convictions. I also created a special division in the office to provide child victims of abuse with professional and compassionate care in difficult times, because we were aware of the need to act quickly for the safety and emotional stability of the victims. As attorney general, I will work with organizations across Missouri to seek best practices in the handling of these cases and fight to protect the most vulnerable: victims of abuse, domestic violence and especially children.
Q. 2: As an attorney for 24 years – 10 as Cass County prosecutor – I was tough on crime: 21 for 21 murder convictions, hundreds of violent crime convictions, and over 500 convictions of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assaults.
The attorney general’s office has over 180 attorneys. I’ve hired, trained and supervised attorneys to go to trial. This is not an office for someone with a learning curve and there is no room for mistakes. I’m the only candidate with experience and I’m the only candidate ready to do the job as the “People’s Attorney” on day one.
• Josh Hawley [R]
Q. 1: To protect the people of Missouri. Missouri needs an attorney general to stand up for our families, our farms, our small businesses and our children. The political establishment of both parties has failed us. I will fight the Washington dysfunction and bureaucracy that is holding back our economy. I will fight corruption in Jefferson City. And I will protect our children from sex predators and the scourge of human trafficking.
Q. 2: The Attorney General’s office is a principally an appellate office. And I have a strong background in appellate litigation. From the Supreme Court of the United States to federal and state courts, my work as an appellate litigator uniquely prepares me for the principal work of the Attorney General. Moreover, I understand the challenges facing Missouri families now. Over-regulation is stifling our economy and holding down wages and it’s driving small businesses out of business. Missouri families and taxpayers need an advocate, someone who will push back on government overreach at every level, regardless of which party is in power.
• • •
Candidates for state Senate and state representative were asked: What will you do to provide a strong economic future for Missouri, and specifically the residents of your district? Replies to this question appear below. Candidates also were asked: Other than the economy, what do you view as the three most important issues facing local residents and what will you do to address these concerns? Recently, St. Louis City and St. Charles and St. Louis counties signed legislation to enact prescription drug monitoring programs at the local level. What actions, by the state, do you think are warranted in battling heroin and opiate drug use and addiction? Replies to these questions appear below.
State Senate – District 23
• Richard Orr [D]
Q. 1: Put the General Assembly on a path to fiscal responsibility by enacting targeted tax cuts for individuals and small businesses that won’t leave the state insolvent , as some very large, newly enacted, experimental, across-the-board tax cuts for businesses threaten to do. Keeping Missouri from becoming another budget basket case, like Kansas, will keep our economy strong and keep Missourians working. Accepting the $2 billion Medicaid expansion funds from the federal government also will create thousands of new jobs. Focus on presenting Missouri as an attractive and desirable tourist destination with places like old town St. Charles.
Q. 2: Stopping the relentless effort to enact so-called right-to-work laws that harm Missouri workers and has been proven to reduce wages by an average 15 percent. This leads to concentration of wealth at the top of the income ladder and hardships for working families in St.Charles county. I also will push for raising the state minimum wage.
Fix the school funding formula that had resulted in less money being available for public schools in Missouri.
Push as strongly as I can for campaign finance reform. Missouri is one of the few states that has no restrictions of who (outside of foreign interests) or how much can be donated to campaigns which results in lobbyists having undue influence in our political process.
Q. 3: The prescription drug monitoring program in St. Louis city and county, and which has now been joined by St. Charles county is a critical first step in stopping the opioid epidemic since studies have shown that 85 percent of heroin users report starting with prescription pain pills. I think it is essential that the monitoring program be enacted statewide and I will push strongly for that.
• Bill Eigel [R]
Q. 1: We need to pursue economic policies that will make Missouri competitive with other states. That includes a reform of our tax code and phasing out the income tax and capping sales tax. We will never compete with states that have no income tax [like Texas and Tennessee] if we maintain such an outdated revenue policy. I will support tort reform to prevent small business liability to legal predators and frivolous lawsuits. We also need to reduce wasteful spending in a bloated state budget, so that we can get needed resources to our schools, our veterans and our local communities.
Q. 2: Ethics Reform. I will support a ban on personal lobbyist gifts that undermine the trust between citizens and their government officials. I will also support an extension of the cooling off period for legislators wanting to become lobbyists.
Infrastructure. I will support a road reinvestment plan that provides for our roads without increasing taxes or creating toll roads. Much of the fuel tax dollars collected in St. Charles County are being redistributed to maintain an excessive and unnecessary rural network. This prevents major roadways like I-70 and I-40 from getting the state and federal resources they need.
Restraining Government. I will oppose an expansion of the federal Medicaid program that would bankrupt our state and derail efforts to meet already existing obligations. I will work against the federal overreach of Obamacare in our health system which has led to significant premium increases and loss of coverage for our residents. I will continue to support our 2nd Amendment rights, and will do everything I can to protect innocent life—both born and unborn. I am an advocate for personal liberty against government intrusion in our private lives.
Q. 3: We need to make sure we are supporting the police officers that are protecting us each day in this ongoing battle with drug addition. I will be an advocate for law enforcement and do what is needed to make sure they have the funding and equipment they need to keep us safe. I am deeply concerned about the passage of government monitoring programs that collect and risk the personal information of our citizens. If our personal information falls into the wrong hands, we may find that expected “cures” are worse than the targeted problem.
• Bill Slantz [L]
State Representative – District 70
• Byron DeLear [D]
Q. 1: Six years ago, I helped build a coalition of Republicans and Democrats to pass groundbreaking clean-energy legislation in Jefferson City. Programs based on this law are now creating thousands of good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced. Most importantly, they do not cost taxpayers a single dime. Currently, Missouri leads the entire Midwest in clean-energy job growth, adding 13,000 Missouri jobs in the last year alone with 45 percent of this workforce located in the St. Louis region. As your state representative, I will continue to use my expertise to create more good-paying, American jobs to build a stronger economy for Missouri.
Q. 2: New science is coming in every day about Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI] and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]. For more than many, this affects our veterans returning home from defending our nation. I will work to improve health services for our veterans, including ensuring treatment for PTSD and TBI. These heroes deserve our care and attention – without citizens such as these, we would not even have America.
Protecting our community from the radioactive and smoldering West Lake Landfill. St. Louis played a pivotal role in the defense of our nation during the Greatest Generation’s effort to win World War II. The families negatively affected are suffering due to the defense of our nation – St. Louis deserves for the federal government to clean-up the radiological contamination and make this community whole.
Here in Missouri, women continue to be paid less than men for the same work. Our state’s working women are paid just 71 cents for every dollar a man is paid. Pay inequality is real, despite being against the law. I will support strong enforcement of equal pay laws, so women with the same qualifications and who do the same work earn the same pay as men.
Q.3: Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug monitoring program. These programs help fight drug addiction such as opiate abuse resulting in many tragic deaths due to Heroin overdose. Missouri needs to pass drug prescription program legislation like every other state in the nation to help save lives.
• Mark Matthiesen [R]
Q. 1: Missouri small businesses are footing the tax bill for the tax credits given to special interest businesses who pay for the best lobbyist in Jefferson City. We need to level the playing field for all businesses to thrive by eliminating the tax credits and lowering taxes for all businesses. This will keep jobs that already exist in place and inspire new companies to open shop in our area. Missouri Department of Revenue is currently acting outside of its scope of authority and creating new ways to create taxes, twisting the wording of existing laws. This must stop immediately and will only be prevented with conservative leadership.
Q. 2: Three important issues facing District 70 is the health threat of the Westlake/Bridgeton Landfill, safety of our residents, and liberal federal education policies. We must protect the health of Northwest St Louis County by implementing the FURSRAP program of the Army Corp of Engineers and removing the EPA’s obstructionist policies that put our community at risk. We must fully support our police departments and equip them with the tools, manpower and lawful authority to carry out their jobs. We must financially support our teachers and provide them resources to build classrooms that provide creative thinking without using vast amounts of their own salary. We must block the progressive federal mandates that have overtaken our schools and force out teachers to focus on teaching standardized testing and let our teachers focus on teaching again.
Q. 3: Current prescription drug monitoring programs are nothing but data collection programs that have no provisions that actually prevent doctor shopping and filling duplicate opioid and pain killer prescriptions that can lead to further drug abuse. If these programs are ever going to be the useful tools that our police have requested, they must be specific, enforceable, mandatory, and actually stop the problem.
State Representative – District 102
• Kurt Bahr* [R] – unopposed
State Representative – District 103
• Marguerite Dillworth [D]
• John D. Wiemann* [R]
Q. 1: I will sponsor or support legislation to reduce taxes at all levels, reduce burdensome regulations, implement labor reforms and reallocate government spending to focus on areas that need attention [i.e., transportation, energy, workforce education, economic development]. I will support all conservative measures that will create a business friendly environment in Missouri and spur economic growth.
Q. 2: I am very concerned about the declining educational standards in our community, specifically with the implementation of Common Core standards. I will continue to support increased funding for elementary and secondary education; however, I will also continue to demand greater accountability from school administration, teachers and parents. We need to keep the state department of education from controlling our local schools. Another important local issue is the need for expansion and improvements of our road system in St. Charles county. I will continue to work towards helping our county receive additional transportation funding. Finally, we need to make critical capital investments in our public utilities in order maintain inexpensive and quality service for all Missouri residents and businesses. The federal government is forcing our power companies to shut down low cost coal power plants over the next five years which will leave the state with less power generating capacity and ultimately higher energy costs to our residents. I will continue to support measures to help upgrade our electrical grid system and to increase energy capacity to keep our rates low.
Q. 3: The state should increase funding for the compliance enforcement of physicians who prescribe narcotics. Prescription drug monitoring programs were proven by the Centers for Disease Control to be ineffective at reducing opiate drug abuse. In fact, Missouri is the only state without a PDMP, but is at the median in terms of abuse. Missouri should not be in the business of maintaining another confidential database that will jeopardize the privacy of our residents. Unless the prescribing physicians reduce the quantity of narcotics being prescribed to their patients and they become more accountable for the number of patients who become addicted to opiates a PDMP program will not solve this problem.
Charles Matt Hull [L]
State Representative – District 104
• Peggy Sherwin [D]
Q. 1: Stronger economic community starts with our schools. Calling for an audit of the state education funding department to locate missing funds that have been absent from our schools districts. Providing schools with the necessary personnel to perform the duties needed to help our teachers do what they were hired to do – teach. These are jobs that our community citizens would be grateful to have, such as outreach workers, social workers and counselors.
Q. 2: Small business owners have been the wheels that made our economic system work for years. Help the small business people move forward with low interest loans to get their businesses up and moving. Overhauling the tax laws for small business owners to provide more jobs thus create more people paying taxes. Creating opportunities for new comers who might be considering relocating into our area. The city should consider On the Job Training [OJT] jobs within the city for our youth who are interested in a career within the city.
Substance abuse in our district. Create a task force with community activists and law enforcement to develop an action plan to combat substance.
Affordable housing should be developed to meet the needs of the low income and elderly population.
Q. 3: Prescription drug monitoring is a start. However; getting healthcare professional on board with prescription management will also make substance abuse easier to control. Helping individuals who are currently using drugs get help, such as substance abuse counseling, and inpatient treatment. Especially, individuals seeking help and help is not available to them because they do not have the right insurance or they do not have insurance at all.
• Kathie Conway* [R]
Q. 1: Promote educational opportunities from K-12, community college and trade schools as well as Universities. We need better ways for citizens to be “work ready” when they leave the classrooms. Continued tax cuts for individuals and small businesses. Continue to examine regulations that hinder establishment and growth of business.
Q. 2: Education and our infrastructure are two of the highest priorities in this district. I believe that most problems are traced to the various departments in the state and how they manage the funds budgeted to them with taxpayers’ money. This includes MoDOT and the Departments of Elementary and Higher Education. Tax credits and their misuse also add to a depleted tax base and these need to be evaluated and reformed for the biggest and best impact for the area.
Q. 3: Utilize the Board of Healing Arts, Pharmaceutical Board and the DEA to identify doctors and pharmacies with a high incidents of prescribing and filling addictive drugs. I do not feel that patients should have to be placed on a register when we already have bureaucracies that should be able to handle this problem.
State Representative – District 105
• Brian D. Stiens [D]
Q. 1: Health care is a major industry in our state. I would like to expand Medicaid to the level that the federal law allows. Recent studies have shown that Medicaid expansion can add an additional 20,000 plus jobs to the field. By utilizing the system [that is already in place] to be fully funded, more people will have access to the care they need. More patients equal more professional and support staff jobs. Careers and long term, decent paying jobs will be established for residents of the district, and health care workers around the state.
Q. 2: Under funding education. The Missouri Foundation Formula (which
was passed in 2005) needs to be taken seriously. Currently, we are hundreds of millions of dollars short of the spending targets- the amount of money that should be spent(at minimum)in order to educate the average K-12 student in Missouri per academic year.
Rebuilding roads and bridges . The neglect of our aging highways, primary and secondary roads has got to be addressed. Safe and efficient travel is a right we sometimes take for granted. Proper maintenance and updating has to occur on a consistent schedule. I would propose a small increase in fees for new drivers obtaining their license, as well as bumping up the cost of vehicle registration [license plates]. These new monies would be strictly for revitalizing our roads and bridges.
Right to Work. This misleading, play on words is not a needed piece of legislation. Missourians have voiced their opinion on this subject many times. It is not keeping new business from locating here. In fact, many well established companies, will defend their employees and compliment the skill their Unionized workforce brings to the table.
Q. 3: We are the last state in the country to in act a policy addressing the prescription drug monitoring system. We have to have a statewide database, tracking dispensation of opiates and the frequency thereof. All information collected has to be confidential and strict safeguards need to be in place to assure this. Addiction to opioids is ruining many families in St Charles County. Establishment and implementation of a statewide prescription drug monitoring program has been an important goal of my candidacy since the campaign started in May.
• Phil Christofanelli [R]
Q. 1: Our tax code is broken. Politicians are manipulating our tax laws to benefit their friends and they are sticking Missourians with the bill. We need a complete overhaul to end the kickbacks for special interests and make sure families keep more of their own money. Kids are graduating college and leaving the state to find a job. We need to encourage STEM education to ensure that our schools are teaching skills that businesses need. Finally, we must cut the red tape from unaccountable bureaucrats that block economic growth. Every family should have a chance at the American dream of entrepreneurship.
Q. 2: In the course of my campaign, I have had the opportunity to personally knock on over 15,000 doors. The three issues I hear most often are that we need leaders who will protect the life of the unborn, defend the Second Amendment, and pass strong ethics reform. I am proud to be the only candidate in this race who is endorsed by Missouri Right to Life, the National Rifle Association, and champions for ethics reform at the capitol like House Speaker Todd Richardson. I believe we must work to ensure that Missouri is the most pro-life state in the nation. We must oppose efforts to deprive law-abiding Americans of their right to self defense and gun ownership. Additionally, we must pass legislation to limit lobbyist gifts, close the revolving door between elected officials and lobbyists, and increase the transparency of the State House. I have worked my entire life towards good government initiatives such as these, first as a student at Washington University in St. Louis, then as a small business owner helping candidates and campaigns around the state, additionally as a member of the MOGOP State Executive Committee, and most recently as a press secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Q. 3: We cannot afford to lose another life to addiction. Despite what some politicians promise, there is no one answer to ending the scourge of this disease. While we must enforce the laws on our books, they are no substitute for comprehensive treatment and recovery. At the local level, Judge Phillip Ohlms has done great work with families who are struggling with addiction, and I believe his model should be emulated across the state. Finally, we should encourage Medicaid reforms that expand access to chiropractic care and other pain management treatments that do not rely on opiates.
State Representative – District 106
• Michael J. Dorwart [D]
Q. 1: So called “Right to Work” is wrong for Missouri and so is paycheck deception. Unions are the backbone of our middle class; they protect wages and maintain job security. Working in the green energy field, I see a huge opportunity to create more good-paying jobs in St. Charles in technology and green energy. We should be partnering with unions, schools, nonprofits and businesses to equip our workforce with skills in coding, solar and wind engineering, and geothermal installation. I will promote the I-70 corridor as a technology innovation corridor.
Q. 2: I decided to run for office because I saw that the voices of our community were not being represented in Jefferson City. It has given me an opportunity to meet and hear the concerns of thousands of my neighbors. Sadly, the number one issue that unites everyone in St. Charles and St. Peters is the heroin epidemic. Nearly everyone I have talked to has a family member or a friend who has struggled with opioid addiction and heroin, and far too often this ends in overdose and death. It is heartbreaking. Other than heroin and the economy, the two issues that people point to most often are protecting unions and dealing with corruption in Jefferson City. We must stop disastrous “Right to Work” legislation from slashing Missouri wages and shrinking the middle class. But we also have to fight paycheck deception and other anti-union bills. I am the only candidate in the race that will support unions across the board. We also need to address the culture of corruption and the influence of special interests in Jefferson City. We need meaningful ethics reforms. I have pledged to not accept a single lobbyist contribution.
Q. 3: A statewide, privacy-protected opioid prescription drug monitoring program [PDMP] is the crucial first step in attacking the heroin epidemic head-on. Eighty-five percent of heroin users started with prescription opioid painkillers. The PDMP prevents “doctor shopping,” which is the practice of obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors. Right now, dealers can go to Lincoln or Warren Counties to obtain the pills. Missouri is the only state without a statewide PDMP. On top of the PDMP, we should equip all first responders with naloxone, which stops overdoses. And we need to ensure people living with addiction have access to humane treatment options.
• Chrissy Sommer* [R]
Q. 1: There are many factors to economic growth. I have spoken with many companies such as Toyota and BoardPaq who are looking for a trained workforce when making decisions to grow business in Missouri. This starts in the classroom by ensuring that our students are getting the best education possible. As the vice chair for the Professional Registration and Licensing Committee, I believe we need to stop the unneeded and overly burdensome regulations on our small businesses. I believe that the government needs to get out of the way and let businesses create jobs. As a small businesswoman, I care deeply about ensuring a prosperous future for Missouri.
Q. 2: Education – I will continue to sponsor legislation that better serves our children, including those that have special needs. Serving on the Higher Education Committee, I will work to make college more affordable.
Public safety and security – The most basic function of government is to keep our communities safe. I stand with all of our local heroes and I am proud to be endorsed by the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and Missouri State Council of Firefighters.
Transportation – Serving on the Policy Development Caucus, I have been working on various ways to help improve our infrastructure as well as the funding available.
Besides to the three issues I listed above, I want to make our state government more efficient, transparent, and accountable. I have consistently voted to improve our Missouri Ethics laws. I believe that information on how officials conduct the public business and spend taxpayers’ money must be readily available and easily understood.
In addition my passions include mental health issues. I will continue to help those with PTSD through my mental health service dog legislation and initiatives. I will fight to protect our veterans and seniors to ensure that they have a high quality of life.
Q. 3: Heroin is a painkiller relieving emotional pain as much as physical pain. Thus, I believe we need to focus on prevention and education efforts as well as mental health awareness services and support. With any abuse, we need to address the underlying cause. Immediate action I have taken includes voting for legislation relating to naloxone which can save someone who is suffering from an apparent narcotic or opiate-related overdose. In addition, I believe that we already have the tools available to determine the doctors and pharmacies who are over-prescribing opiods and should be demanding that the Healing Arts, Pharmaceutical Board and the DEA step it up.
State Representative – District 107
• Curtis Wylde [D]
Q. 1: I advocate economic growth through sustainability creating jobs in renewable, emerging sectors.
Q. 2: Educational Funding: I would vote to fully fund our educational system. Fight Right-to-Work: Vote against RTW, or any union-busting legislation. Heroin Epidemic: Vote for an opioid registry.
Q. 3: We need an opioid registry, and a better path to rehabilitation for those addicted.
• Nick Schroer [R]
Q. 1: I will work hard to reduce the tax burden for Missouri families and businesses. Our state tax code has not been modernized in decades and, as a result, almost everyone is paying the top tax rate – that has to change. I will also push to eliminate needless red tape. We have to get wasteful bureaucracy out of the way of economic growth.
Q. 2: I will fight diligently against unnecessary regulations. The growth of regulations is out of control. The 2016 volume of the Missouri Register – the publication that announces new regulations – is already at 1,458 pages. Complying with all of this red tape is a tremendous burden for Missouri families and businesses.
I will also work to pass common sense tort reform. Missouri has become a go-to destination for frivolous lawsuits, and ludicrous cases like the recent multi-million-dollar baby powder lawsuit have given our state’s courts a bad reputation. We have to protect Missourians from frivolous lawsuits.
Finally, I will work to stand up against federal overreach. The Constitution is clear that any powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states or the people, but our federal government appears to have forgotten about the Tenth Amendment. We have to get federal bureaucrats out of our way and protect our fundamental rights.
Q. 3: Drugs are a serious problem, and I believe we need to ensure our law enforcement has the tools they need to address this epidemic. I know that drug courts are a tactic that works well, and I will work to expand the use of drug courts in other parts of our state. I will also work closely with law enforcement to look into other policies that will aid in the fight against drug abuse.
State Representative – District 108
• Ed Shew [D]
Q. 1: The best economic development tool is to invest in education: pre-school, K-12, higher education and vocational education/the trades. I will work to fully fund our schools and training programs. We need to keep the promise of a quality public education through a great public school for every child. Likewise, affordable healthcare and vigorously saying no to “Right to Work” laws are required for a strong economy and a strong workforce. I favor expanding Medicaid, which will create over 24,000 jobs in the state, many in St. Charles County, and billions of dollars injected into the state’s economy. One study even shows every $1 from expanding Medicaid in Missouri would result in nearly $5 being added back into our economy.
Q. 2: St. Charles County, as it continues to grow, needs a transportation system that provides alternative, affordable, and efficient modes of transportation. We need to provide a better-managed road system and a county-wide mass transit system, to include bus and rail, to serve the population centers, decrease traffic congestion and provide for economic growth. Also, we may need to raise the gasoline tax, one of the lowest in the country, for road improvements.
Our county has a sufficient supply and variety of housing accommodating a range of lifestyles, needs, and incomes for our residents. Our county attracts new residents in a large part to the high quality of life it offers. Residential development in the county should strive to provide housing opportunities for all its citizens in a variety of housing choices and in a range of prices. Such residential development should be accomplished while protecting the natural environment and providing a balance of land use patterns.
Generally, St. Charles County is a safe and healthy community. To do so we are challenged to have strong health and safety facilities and services. We need to continue to support our ambulance, fire, police and public health employees. We must not neglect the social needs of our seniors as our demographics change. Homelessness and the service needs for at risk populations must also be addressed.
Q. 3: Every week my wife, an advanced practice nurse, sees our community being torn apart by the use of heroin and opiate drug use and addiction. Since 1999, overdose deaths from opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers, have quadrupled. However, our legislators have not shown leadership on behalf of its constituents. We must establish a prescription drug monitoring program. Missouri is the only state without such a database that prevents doctors from checking prescription records to determine whether an addicted patient is “doctor hopping.”
In efforts to end the heroin and opioid crisis in Missouri, we should launch a statewide Heroin Task Force. The group, comprised of healthcare providers, policy advocates, educators, parents and Missourians in recovery, will use their expertise and first-hand experience to develop a comprehensive action plan to combat the state’s opioid epidemic. The Task Force will focus immediately on expanding awareness of heroin opioid addiction; enhance statewide prevention efforts; increase access to treatment; and improve support for those in recovery.
• Justin S. Hill* [R]
Q. 1: I would continue to work on labor reform, tort reform and tax reform. Passing Freedom to Work legislation is a must. With forced unionism in Missouri, employers that would likely relocate to Missouri are choosing states like Tennessee, Kansas and Oklahoma. Missouri is also known throughout the country as a hotbed for lawsuits. I would support legislation that seeks to control frivolous lawsuits so businesses can feel secure in doing business in Missouri again. Finally, Missouri has to be more competitive. We are unique in the fact that we share borders with eight competing states. We must compete by lowering the income tax with a goal to get to zero and lower our corporate income tax to a competitive level.
Q. 2: The three most important issues facing local residents in St. Charles County are health insurance costs, wages that are not keeping up with inflation, and out of control local government taxation. Everyone has been effected by the implementation of Obamacare. Some have received free insurance and it has been a positive thing but most have experienced a drastic price increases and fewer benefits. I am working on preparing for the failure of Obamacare and will do what I can to bring back medical underwriting while finding coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
The federal government’s abusive spending and continuous operation without a balanced budget has forced the Federal Reserve to continuously print more money to keep the economy positive. This is called inflationary spending and it is what shrinks wages to the point some have to finance a car over 7 years. I will continue to support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution.
Finally, local government entities such as water districts, school boards, and fire districts often reap the benefit of voter apathy and continuously get approval for tax increases by placing measures on the April ballot when turnout is the lowest. I will support legislation that moves April elections to November.
Q. 3: The State should continue to protect patient data by not establishing a State-wide prescription drug monitoring program [PDMP]. Missouri ranks 17th in the country of overdose deaths and we are the only one without a PDMP. They do not work. I have been a policeman for 13 years with four of those years fighting the drug war. Keeping track of everyone is not an efficient way of finding abusers. I would encourage the state to consider a database of doctors who write too many prescriptions and go after the dealer. Remember, we still cannot buy Sudafed in this county and we still have meth addiction.
State Representative – District 109
• Paul Curtman [R] – unopposed