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ON THE BALLOT: Candidates and Issues

In anticipation of the Nov. 3 General Election, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine asked candidates in contested races to answer the following questions:

1. What are your top priorities if elected?

2. What are your qualifications for holding public office?

The answers of those who responded by deadline are listed below in ballot order. Incumbent candidates are identified with an asterisk. Mid Rivers Newsmagazine has not verified and does not endorse the statements made by the candidates. Unopposed candidates were omitted from Mid Rivers Newsmagazine’s query but are listed below by name. Party affiliations are noted as Democrat (D), Republican (R), Libertarian (L), Green (G) and Constitution (C). Websites or Facebook pages are listed when available. 

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U.S. District 2

ANN WAGNER* (R)• annwagner.com

1. Affordable health care, rebuilding from the pandemic and public safety are three of my top priorities. I am committed to the health and safety of every constituent during this pandemic. I have voted multiple times to protect those with preexisting conditions and have worked to lower prescription drug costs, bolster mental health services and expand telehealth options. I support free coronavirus testing and treatment and providing health insurance premium assistance to those who have lost jobs.

2. I was born and raised in Missouri’s Second District, where I’ve spent my life giving back and investing in this community. I learned about the value of hard work while working at my family’s small business, and representing this district is one of the greatest honors of my life. I have a strong record fighting for Missouri families. I am proud that every one of the bills that I’ve passed into law has been bipartisan.

JILL SCHUPP (D) • jillschupp.com

1. We deserve representation that puts families first – not special interests. We must get the virus under control so we can safely get our kids in school and rebuild our economy. COVID-19 has illuminated many of the flaws within our health care system and one of my top priorities is addressing those issues. Lowering the cost of prescription drugs, defending the Affordable Care Act and ensuring access to affordable health care, including for those with pre-existing conditions, are critical.

2. I am committed to working across the aisle to deliver for Missouri families. From the school board to the state Senate, I’ve earned a reputation as someone who brings people together to get things done. Whether it was ending surprise billing in emergency rooms, or making daycare safer for all of our children, every bill I’ve passed in the Senate has had bipartisan support. I plan to bring that same bipartisan spirit to Congress.

MARTIN SCHULTE (L) • martinvschulte.com

1. My top priorities are to vote against any proposed tax increases, reduce federal spending and assist small businesses to rebound from the pandemic. I will defend all liberties guaranteed to you by the Constitution and work against the continuing battle to usurp those rights. I will endeavor to build equality, life and safety into justice reform, create workable reforms with the current health care options and be accessible to the people of the second district.

2. I have worked in the government for over 25 years and am a veteran of the U.S. Navy. I have lived through the ups and downs of life and know the struggles of trying to succeed. I have a strong sense of service to you, those who desire change in the way we are governed, and want to put the power in your hands rather than relying on the grace of the government.

U.S. District 3

BLAINE LUETKEMEYER* (R) • blaineforcongress.com

MEGAN REZABEK (D) • meganrezabekforcongress.com

LEONARD J STEINMAN II (L) • Facebook@leonard.steinmannii

Governor

MIKE PARSON* (R) • mikeparson.com

NICOLE GALLOWAY (D) • nicolegalloway.com

1. I’m running for governor to put Jefferson City back on the side of working families and to act with urgency to protect the people of our state. The most important thing the next governor will have to do is contain the spread of the virus and rebuild Missouri’s economy. One of the best ways to do that is to strengthen our health care system, expand access to health care and get health care costs under control.

2. As Missouri’s auditor, I’ve identified $370 million in government waste and my audits have resulted in 63 criminal counts against corrupt public officials, both Democrats and Republicans. My record is one of demanding accountability, efficiency and transparency at all levels of government. It’s why voters elected me to the position I currently hold and it’s the same approach I’ll bring to the governor’s office, ensuring that every hard-earned dollar you put in is treated with respect.

RIK COMBS (L) • combsformissouri.com

1. My top priorities upon assuming office are to limit the size of government, protect personal property and provide freedom to all Missourians. Slash taxes, cut spending and allow hard-working Missourians the opportunity to achieve their God-given potentials.

2. My qualifications include being a career senior U.S. Air Force officer and commander for leadership and management. I also served three years as a CEO for a consulting firm in Florida (2006-2009). I have the leadership, vision and the ability to get results.

JEROME HOWARD BAUER (G) • Facebook@jeromebauer

Lt. Governor 

MIKE KEHOE* (R) • mikekehoe.com

1. I have the right experience from the private sector to get the job done. My main priorities in the next four years are to provide every child with a world-class education, expand workforce development to help every Missourian learn new job skills so they can realize their potential, cut red tape and eliminate burdensome regulations to attract high-paying jobs to Missouri, and help our small businesses in any way to grow good family-supporting jobs.

2. I have owned multiple businesses and have been deeply involved in my community for over 30 years. I was elected to serve eight years in the Missouri Senate representing the Sixth District which includes seven counties in mid-Missouri. I was then elected by my Senate colleagues to serve as Senate Majority Leader from 2015-2018. I also served on the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission for over four years, including service as chairman.

ALISSIA CANADY (D) • canadyformissouri.com

BILL SLANTZ (L)• billslantz.com

1. I tell people that if they want a smaller government, get on board with us. If you think we need a lieutenant governor, then maybe you don’t want to vote for me. You should know that it is possible to get by without one. The only constitutional duty of the lieutenant governor in Missouri is to vote in case of a tie in the State Senate and to fill in for the governor in case of death or disability.

2. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I am a Libertarian. I believe in a limited government. Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and accept responsibility for the choices they make. The Libertarian way approaches politics based on the principle of self-ownership – no group, government nor individual should be allowed to dictate or direct the life of any other group, government or individual.

KELLEY DRAGOO (G) • Facebook@dragoo4molg

1. My focus is three main platforms: labor rights, public transportation and universal health care. We need to be addressing each of these needs under the umbrella of the climate crisis we are entering. Creating a robust public transit system will create well-benefited jobs for a variety of Missourians. In addition, it will allow us to mobilize quickly, sending medicine, food and supplies when our state experiences worsening natural disasters.

2. I have spent the last 10 years in activism, organizing educational programs and advocacy events with many diverse groups from 350.org to SURJ. In addition, I have been involved in the Kansas City, Heart of America Chapter of the Green Party, serving, at various times, as treasurer, communications and outreach, and co-coordinator. I have the ability to both listen and lead in order to give the people what they are asking for.

Secretary of State 

JOHN R. (JAY) ASHCROFT* (R) • 

ashcroftformissouri.com

1. My priorities are to continue enhancing the safety and security of our elections while ensuring that every registered voter can vote; continue growing support for our state and public library system, including better broadband support, job training and educational support services; and continue making it easier for individuals to start new businesses and for current companies to grow.

 2. As Missouri’s Secretary of State, I’ve spent years working with local election authorities to ensure the security of and confidence in our elections. This experience in administering elections is critical in an environment of foreign cyber threats and COVID-19. I will continue to use my training as an engineer and attorney to lead nationally on cyber-security issues, bringing other secretaries of state together as we did in 2018 for the National Election Security Summit in St. Louis. 

YINKA FALETI (D) • yinkafaleti.com

1. My top priority will be to protect the right to vote by making our elections safe, secure and accessible. I will fight for no-excuse absentee voting, expanded early voting, automatic voter registration, improved online registration, one-time only registration throughout the state, no matter how many times you move within the state; robust voter education; vote-by-mail without mandating notarization; and more. My second priority will be to protect and strengthen the ballot initiative process in Missouri.

2. As an immigrant American, I earned my right to vote when I gained my citizenship as a teenager. As a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran, I defended our collective right to vote on my two deployments to Kuwait, both before and in response to 9/11. My greatest qualifications for holding a public office is my passion for service and my intimate understanding of the sacredness of the right to vote.

CARL HERMAN FREESE (L) • Facebook@CHF4mo.sos

PAUL LEHMANN (G) 

PAUL VENABLE (C) • youwin.paulvenable.org

Treasurer

SCOTT FITZPATRICK* (R) • scottfitpatrick.com

1. My top priority will be to ensure the state maintains its AAA credit rating and continues to balance its budget and fund its pension obligations. I will also work with the legislature to improve funding to provide educational opportunities for children in failing schools. I’ll also continue to look for opportunities to work cross-departmentally for the benefit of taxpayers, similar to the partnership I created with Department of Social Services to return unclaimed property to families owed child support. 

2. I started a manufacturing and construction company in high school, and grew it while I was at Mizzou. It now employs nearly 70 people and generates millions of dollars in income for Missouri families annually. I became frustrated with government and ran for the Missouri House in 2012. Once elected, I became the budget chairman and, as chairman, I fully funded K-12 Education and delivered a $500 million budget surplus. I have now served as state treasurer for two years. 

VICKI LORENZ ENGLUND (D) • vickienglund.com

1. As Missouri state treasurer, I will target small business and agricultural loans in areas hit hardest by COVID-19; invest in companies that reflect sustainability, inclusion and sound corporate governance; improve financial literacy by increasing access to banking and capital in low-income communities; expand college savings plans to create security for future generations; and secure the homefront and food supply by supporting Missouri family farmers and opposing foreign ownership of farmland.

2. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C., and have worked for the Clinton Administration’s SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership. I have worked for the St. Louis County Economic Council and as an Edward Jones leasing coordinator. I have the experience to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 economic crisis. I have served in the Missouri House and on the  Lindbergh school board, and have run an online retail business.

NICHOLAS (NICK) KASOFF (L) • Facebook@nick.kasoff

1. My top priority will be to run the treasurer’s office in a nonpartisan fashion, with an attention to providing quality service. For example, rather than putting unclaimed property online and waiting for people to find it, I will work with the Department of Revenue to find property owners and get their money to them quickly.

2. I am an enrolled agent in tax practice, with decades of experience running and consulting for small businesses. My political philosophy is to reduce spending and environmental impact of the office, while providing the best service possible. As a Libertarian, I’m not part of the political system, so I can ensure honesty from a neutral position.

JOSEPH CIVETTINI (G)• Facebook@civ4motreasurer2020

Attorney General

ERIC SCHMITT* (R) • schmittformissouri.com

1. My commitment to Missourians is continuing to fight violent crime and protecting victims. We created the Safer Streets Initiative, a partnership between my office and federal law enforcement in Missouri to help fight and prosecute violent criminal acts. To date, over 300 charges have been filed. Our SAFE Kit Initiative will help achieve justice for victims by helping eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. We have already sent over 1,300 kits for testing.

2. As the lawyer for 6 million Missourians, my job is to stand on the frontline for freedom and be the last line of defense. I’m guided by a commitment to the rule of law and ensuring everyone is treated equally under the law. I promised to be Missouri’s law-and-order attorney general and am pleased to have the endorsement of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, Missouri State Council of Firefighters and Missouri Police Chiefs Association.

RICH FINNERAN (D) • richfinneran.com

1. My first priority is protecting health care, including coverage for preexisting conditions, by ending Missouri’s involvement in the federal lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Second is criminal justice: I will address the inequities of our system head-on and ensure the law is enforced fairly and equally for all. Third, I’ll take on corruption to make sure the AG’s office benefits the people, not politicians or the well-connected.

2. I’m a former federal prosecutor dedicated to serving justice and protecting the public. From 2010 to 2017, I served as an assistant U.S. attorney in St. Louis, where I aggressively prosecuted some of the most significant cases in the history of the state, including a $435 million prepaid funeral scam and a $50 million investment fraud. I’ve never been afraid to take on the powerful and well-connected when they preyed upon the vulnerable. 

KEVIN C BABCOCK (L) 

Constitutional Amendment 1

Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution to extend the two term restriction that currently applies to the Governor and Treasurer to the Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and the Attorney General? State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.

 ( ) Yes  ( ) No

State Senate – District 23

BILL EIGEL* (R)• billeigel.com

RICHARD ORR (D) • richardorr.org

1. My top priorities include the following: I want to ensure that Right to Work does not become law in Missouri and that Medicaid expansion, which will insure thousands of lower income Missourians, is implemented as quickly as possible since the need is great and people are suffering. I also want to preserve the anti-gerrymandering law that passed in 2018 by defeating Amendment 3. I also want to increase state funding for veterans programs and eliminate state taxes on Social Security benefits.

2. I ran previously in 2016 to provide voters with the choice of my pro-worker agenda that puts ordinary working people first. I attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis and ran a successful business for 35 years before trying to apply what I learned in the business world to a position in the Missouri Senate.

State Rep – District 64

TONY LOVASCO* (R) • tonylovasco.com

1. The top priority of any elected official should be to protect the individual liberty of the citizens they represent. In additional to that basic duty, I always prioritize property rights, reducing government overreach and criminal justice reform. In my first term, I introduced bills to reduce regulations, reform land use restrictions and eliminate civil asset forfeiture. I intend to continue to fight for these and other measures if reelected.

2. I’ve held the office of state representative for the last two years and have firsthand knowledge about what it takes to do the job. While there is always more to learn about anything in life, I’m confident that my work in Jefferson City makes me the most qualified candidate in this race. In addition to my legislative experience, I’ve worked nearly 20 years in sales and am quite comfortable dealing with diverse and unique challenges.

AALIYAH BAILEY (D) • baileyformissouri.com

1. My top three priorities are ensuring affordable healthcare for rural Missourians, providing quality, curriculum-driven early childhood education and protecting workers. As a healthcare professional and working mom, I am intimately aware of the 

impact these issues have on the residents of District 64 and across Missouri. I am prepared to bring integrated and dynamic solutions that will create a brighter future for Missourians.

2. Since moving to St. Charles County, I have been dedicated to volunteering and serving my community. In December 2018, I graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a Bachelor’s of Arts in political science just three months after giving birth to my daughter. I am currently pursuing a master’s of healthcare administration at Maryvillle University to understand the effects of natural disasters, such as the flooding that affects our region, on population health.

State Rep – District 70

JERRY ADZIMA (R) • jerryadzimamo.com

1. My priorities are making sure every Missouri child can get a world-class education, especially in establishing solid fundamentals in Pre-K through fourth grade and promoting STEM curriculum. I am committed to reducing health care costs in innovative ways, especially those that cost little in implementation, but dramatically affect costs, especially for those on fixed-incomes. I will implement frequent, on-going communication with voters and create a new era of transparency and accountability so you know if your REP is working and what issues are being addressed.

2. I’m a 25-year resident of District 70 and a small business owner for over 15 years. Let’s stop playing politics and constant bickering. Coming together, we can probably agree on 70% of the priorities. Let’s charge ahead to get that accomplished and improve the quality of life in District 70. I’m running to ensure our children and grandchildren have a transparent and accountable government, world-class educational opportunities, quality jobs and affordable health care.

PAULA BROWN* (D) • paulabrown.org

1. My priorities are affordable healthcare and prescription drugs for all Missourians; quality education and transportation that is appropriately funded; and good-paying jobs and small business support to move our economy forward.

2. As a former educator, I have served thousands of families. As the president of the local teacher association, I have served over 1,300 teachers and administrators. As the current state representative, I am on seven committees and am the ranking member of Education and Conservation and Natural Resources. During the full closures due to the pandemic, I delivered food and groceries to those in need and helped small business owners with obtaining loans.

State Rep – District 102

RON HICKS* (R) • ronhicks.com

1. I will prioritize defending the Constitution and standing with the principles of rule-of-law, capitalism and individual liberty. Lost revenue and additional spending in response to COVID-19 also mean it is more important than ever for me to advocate for a budget that prioritizes essential duties of government like infrastructure and emergency services. Finally, I will continue to keep an open line of communication with the people of District 102 so I can truly represent them.

2. I have six years of experience as a legislator, so I can affect the most change for our district. As a long time Missouri resident and small business owner, I have strong connections with our community. My wife and I raised our children in St. Charles County because we knew this was the best place in America to do it. I know firsthand the values that make our area exceptional and I’ll fight for them!

TRACY GRUNDY (D) • tracygrundy4missouri.com

1. I am running for office because I believe that the current legislation in Jefferson City has ignored the rights of Missourians on multiple issues. My priorities when I am elected will be to institute a COVID-19 response and recovery plan, make health care affordable to all Missourians and enact sensible gun legislation.

2. My bachelor’s degree is in education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and my MBA was earned at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I have worked as a retail manager, district manager and regional director and as a human resources professional, specializing in employee relations and recruiting. Also, I have been active as a parent volunteer for Francis Howell and currently serve as the state membership director for the Missouri Society of Human Resources Management.

State Rep – District 103

JOHN D. WIEMANN* (R) • johnwiemann.com

1. I will work on legislation to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Missouri businesses and citizens. Other priorities will include greater penalties on individuals who participate in civil unrest that results 

in property destruction and injury to first responders and innocent bystanders. Other important priorities will include greater government transparency, economic growth and job creation, and the protection of constitutional freedoms such as speech, religion and the right to bear arms.

2. I believe my six years of public service in the Missouri House along with 20 years of private sector business experience, including 12 years as a small business owner, demonstrate my ability to serve in public office. In addition to my work experience, I hold a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s in health administration from the University of Missouri. Finally, I am very active in many local community and charitable organizations in St. Charles County.

LISA REES (D)

1. My top priorities if elected are expanding Medicaid in Missouri, protecting the rights of women and LGBTQ individuals, support strong labor unions, working to secure common sense gun regulations, and protecting our elections. Placing people over politics is the foundation of my campaign.

2. I have a passion for serving and have a 30-plus year career in social work. I have spent my professional career serving children, youth and adults with mental illness and chemical dependency through my work at Every Child’s Hope, St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Missouri Alliance for Children and Families. I am endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the National Women’s Political Caucus, and have the Gun Safety Candidate distinction from MOMS Demand Action.

State Rep – District 104

ADAM SCHNELTING* (R) •  adamformissouri.com

1. As I enter my second term, my priorities have only been reinforced. Taking care of our veterans, supporting our first responders, improving education, and protecting our constitutional liberties and the rule of law. 

2. I have the necessary experience to get the job done. I sit on the House Committees for Veterans, Homeland Security, Utilities and Tourism. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce has awarded me the Small Business Champion Award for two years running because of my work supporting small business owners. I have also been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and my own association, the St. Charles County Realtors® Association. 

JESSICA DEVOTO (D) • jessicadevoto.com

1. My top priorities include expanding health care, investing in education and infrastructure, empowering unions, investing in sustainable energy and business practices and ensuring that our state is the best it can be for our families and neighbors.

2. I’m just a regular person who cares about our community. I’m a young widow who has worked in customer service, bookkeeping and property management. I understand the needs of regular folks. I’m not some party insider who was handpicked for this job, so I’ll be better able to accurately represent the people when I get to Jefferson City.

State Rep – District 105

PHIL CHRISTOFANELLI* (R) • philformissouri.com

CHRISTINE HYMAN (D) • christineformissouri.com

1. My first priority is to get COVID-19 under control and involve the community in decisions that impact them most. We need to represent our constituency. When voters pass something on the ballot, it’s the job of those elected to uphold that voice. Jobs and education: Our kids are the best way for us to invest in our future and creating a strong middle class starts with creating a workforce filled by workers who live in Missouri. 

2. My career is human resources and finance. Working in human resources has given me the ability to listen and then act in the most productive way. With a career in finance, I have learned what it takes to read and understand a budget, balance it and know when it needs work. Our budget needs work. As a mother, I know what it takes to compromise and work across the aisle for you.

State Rep – District 107

NICK SCHROER* (R) • nickforrep.com

1. My number one priority is to serve as a strong voice for this district’s conservative values. I am proud of the role I have played in advancing local priorities, including “back the blue” legislation to support law enforcement, bills to protect our communities from the threat of violent crime, and pro-life legislation that has made Missouri among the safest states in the nation for the unborn.

2. It has been my honor to serve this community since my election to the Missouri House in 2016. I have fought hard for our common sense values, working to end regulatory overreach as chairman of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, fighting to reduce the size of government as vice-chairman of the Special Committee on Government Oversight, and standing up for Missouri families as chairman of the Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment.

VICTORIA WITT DATT (D)

MIKE COPELAND (L) • Facebook@mike.copeland.3762

State Rep – District 108

JUSTIN S. HILL* (R) • hillformissouri.com

1. I will file legislation to restore law and order in our state. Economics, education and health care are always great to improve, but when riots and looting are allowed to go unchecked, it makes those goals unobtainable. We have to bring back civility and unity to improve the state we inherited from our grandparents.

2. The qualifications to hold office in the state are being 25 years old and a registered voter in the state. The qualifications should require the ability to tell special interests “no” when their interests don’t align with the people of Missouri. I pride myself on fighting special interests and not shying away from difficult conversations.

SUSAN SHUMWAY (D) • revsue4u.com

1. My top priority is to find creative ways to make sure all have the opportunity to live a safe and fulfilling life. I will focus on health care reform, education initiatives, and promote family values of unconditional love and acceptance for all.

2. I have spent the last 21 years advocating for patients and families in hospitals. I am a part of community organizations and have organized on local and statewide structures.

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