Place of residence: Mexico, Missouri
Occupation: Director of college and career counseling, Missouri Military Academy
Education: Bachelor of arts in journalism, University of Oklahoma; master’s in education, The Citadel; master’s in theological studies; Liberty University; Ph.D. in education, University of Southern Mississippi
Political experience: Mexico City Council member
Recent state income tax cuts have been hailed by some as an economic jumpstart and derided by others as taking money that’s needed for social services and education. What is your opinion?
It is hard for me to view at as an economic jumpstart when I see how we have taken money from our senior citizens and made it more difficult for them to receive the services they need and have earned; when overall people in our state are faced with increased premiums for health insurance and higher deductibles; and when our public schools (early childhood – higher education) is working off of budget that is around $60,000,000 less than it was under the previous administration and they also lost transportation funding. Many rural Missourians are suffering because of the tax cuts and now local municipalities are struggling to try to make-up the differences.
Voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to raise Missouri’s gas tax. Do you support raising the tax
After meeting with many of my neighbors (constituents), I learned that they see the problem our state has with its infrastructure and are willing to do what is necessary to fix it. I will support Proposition D.
Voters will also decide on whether to approve any of three medical marijuana proposals. What are your thoughts on the issue?
I recognize that if chosen to represent District 10, it is not my thoughts on an issue that should take precedents, but that of the people. As I have met with people, I have had heard different views on it. Most of my constituents support the use of medical marijuana under a doctor’s care. However, most are against recreational use and are concerned that legalizing it would open the door for recreational. I do want to make sure that Missourians are educated on the three proposals that are on the ballot, because unfortunately we do not see the entire bill on the ballot. The League of Women voters have some excellent resources on the bills. I will say that out of the three on the ballot, Amendment 2 is the one that is best received it would impose a 4% retail sales tax; and it would fall under the Veterans Commission. Missourians should be aware that Amendment 3 will allow Brad Bradshaw to become the executive director of the Biomedical Institute, serve as chairmen of the board and appoint the board members. Then when he decides to resign the governor would be able to appoint the board. Please note that the finances of the institute would be governed by an outside agency. This amendment gives too much power and money into one person’s hands, who would become the official “drug dealer” of the state. Proposition 3 sounds good because it talks about the four areas that will receive money from the funds generated by the 2% sales-tax. However, when you do the math of the ½ of 1 percent they would divide — it comes to about $50,000/ per entity. Which is not much in multi-million-dollar budgets. Also, we should be reminded of what happened to the money that was generated for public schools/ higher education from the lottery; our state did not add the money to the budget they just replaced it.
What other key issues do you see facing the state?
Healthcare is the biggest concern I heard as I traveled District 10. Public Education was another, because many forget that in rural Missouri there are not many, if any choices. That is why I do not support school choice or the voucher program. Laborer’s rights and wages is another major concern — yes, we voted to repeal “Right to Work”, but there are state legislators who are working to put it back on the table. My opponent was one who supported the Right to Work legislation and if we don’t get different senators and representatives in office, it will come back. Finally, there are several areas of my District that does not have broadband access and that has to be a priority when we look at how society depends on the internet.