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Interview with Adrian Plank, Democratic candidate for the 47th House District

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Adrian Plank is making his third run at the Missouri House.

The union carpenter has tried to win the 47th House District before, falling to Republican Chuck Basye each time. But now Basye is term-limited and unable to seek reelection. Meanwhile, the district has new boundaries that could make the race more competitive for Democrats.

Plank answered questions about his candidacy and the race for ABC 17 News.

Marissa Hollowed: Tell viewers a little about yourself.

Adrian Plank: I'm 49 years old, I've been married 28 years, to my wonderful wife. And I've got a daughter that's 17; attends Hickman High School. I'm a union carpenter by trade. And this is my third run for office. So I'm excited. The districts have been redrawn. And I'd like to think they're redrawn in my favor, which means I'm running again.

Hollowed: Your website says "The wealthy are picking our pockets." What can you do to fix that as a minority-party legislator?

Plank: If we can pick up this seat, we can pick up another six seats, we can take them (Republicans) from a supermajority to a majority.

And so at that point, maybe we can ... have a little bit of offense, right? So how do we limit the money in politics? I think the first thing you got to do is you've got to cinch down super PACs. Super PACs will buy hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars worth of ads in places like this to spread or misinform people about the candidates they want to defeat.

And so my previous two elections, super PACs have spent a million dollars to beat me. That's hard to take. And so they'll spend all this money in the last two weeks of an election, I won't have the money to defend myself, or the time. So when we have political discord like we have now that's created by big money, they're able to buy our elections, which means they can buy our politicians and they also buy our policy. And so when you have a Supreme Court that says we're gonna leave it to the states to make decisions for reproductive rights then we do, we need to make sure that that outside money isn't purchasing our policy in our state.

Hollowed: And if we stay on the same topic of reproductive rights, what's your position on abortion?

Plank: Well, I'm pro-choice. And I always have been.

I grew up in a conservative Christian home, and I understand the notions that they push, but I also know that you can't put an unborn's rights above the living. And so whenever the living has medical decisions they need to make then they should be allowed to make those decisions. And that comes with medical advice. And so, you know, I had a friend of mine that, you know, she had an abortion when she was young, she was going to law school and wasn't financially able. So she had an abortion. Well, now, she's financially able, she's had twin girls that are 20 years old now. And so she, even if it was a medically necessary abortion, you know, she was able to stay alive and have two more kids. And so when we have a sweeping policy like that, and it disregards all the medical situations that may or could happen, and you don't allow professionals to make those decisions, then you're gonna have a bad time, women are gonna die from it.

Hollowed: How do you think the new district boundaries will affect this race this time around?

Plank: Well, now that ... the census is done and the district has been redrawn -- like I said, it has been redrawn, I think in my favor, which is like I said, why run again, but it also changes after knocking doors, different perspectives, and policies and concerns. And so the district got drawn into the Fourth Ward of Columbia a little further, and it cut out three counties, slivers of counties, which means it's all in Boone County, and now it's more of the Fourth Ward. And so the big concerns there are governance policies, women's rights. And of course, in the county, it's sustainable farming practices, and not selling us out to foreign corporations.

Hollowed: Do you support the tax cuts that Gov. Parson just signed?

Plank: You know, those tax cuts will be predominantly taken advantage of by the very wealthy. And you know, that tax cut for me is going to be 11 or 12 bucks. Well, how many services do we cut for that? Our prescription drug program for the elderly? Well, that cost lives. They cut home health care services, which means they gotta go to the more expensive system, which means they're going to take their house and their land, everything they ever worked for as an elderly person. They kicked 100,000 children off of ... Medicaid, and then bragged about the money they saved. And so when you make those tax cuts that's in there saying it's going to save them that money, it's going to cost them money.

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