Opponent: Adrian Plank
Occupation: Marine Corps veteran and retired FAA air traffic controller
Education: Bachelor's in agriculture, University of Columbia
Previous political experience: In third term as 47th District representative
Family: Wife Rhonda; children Randy, Robert and Tim
What is your position on Amendment 3, which would roll back parts of the Clean Missouri amendment voters approved in 2018?
Well, I actually voted against that in the House. And the reason being, I was totally against Clean Missouri when it hit the ballot a couple years ago, but I had different reasons than a lot of people.
I'm not personally concerned about the redistricting part. I personally don't think there's a problem with the way it's been for almost four decades. But I'm in a 50/50 district. It causes you to really focus on your positions, and you can't be wishy-washy. I think that it would be nice if everybody could be an evenly split district, but it's it's gonna hurt both sides of the aisle, in my opinion. I think there's some Democrats up here, and I've talked to (state Rep. Kip Kendrick of Columbia) about this, he's in a very, very strong Democratic district, but you know, if he had to campaign in a 50/50 district, it'd be a little tougher on him, I'm sure. I think he agrees with that.
But I think the biggest problem with the redistricting will be in the minority communities when they try to even those out, it's just going to be very, very difficult. And I feel sorry for the person, if this, if Amendment 3 does not pass, then the demographer is going to have a very, very tough, tough job there ahead of them. I totally support the elimination a lobbyist gifts, and, and we should probably moderate, even out the campaign contributions for everybody the same way I think that would be shouldn't be a problem.
How will Medicaid expansion affect the 47th District?
Well, with the way it was passed, it's gonna cause some funding issues, we're gonna have to come up with some money to fund that. When you look at the general revenue in the budget, there's not a whole lot of areas where you can cut or take money from. We have a requirement to balance the budget. So I feel that it's going to hurt education significantly. And more than likely, it'll hurt higher education more than K-12 funding. But I've never been against people receiving health insurance or health care -- that's never been part of it. But I know that Medicaid and social services have been growing drastically over the last 15 to 20 years. And if we keep adding onto that it's gonna require more and more resources and with the requirement to balance our budget that is going to harm other areas that are underfunded in many circumstances.
Has the state done enough to fight COVID-19?
Well, it's a tough issue. It's evolving quite a bit. I think the governor and the Department of Health and Senior Services has done a pretty good job, but given the fact that it seems like requirements keep changing from the federal government, you know, at one point early on, they were talking about mask weren't that big of a help and all that. And now we're being pushed to have a mask mandate. But I think we've done a pretty good job. It is a very, very serious issue. My family has had some problems in that area. But it's something we have to take very seriously. And we have to continue to do what the health experts recommend, I believe, yeah.
How about health orders in particular?
Well, it depends on who you talk to. I kind of thought it was a little too tough locally. Some businesses are really being hurt very bad ... a lot of businesses are closed, in small business, especially. But you know, I think the health department here in Boone County had to do what they felt was necessary. I didn't quite understand why it was so strict on certain businesses, and then other businesses are allowed to operate with guidelines in place. But you know, it doesn't appear to be much of a problem in surrounding counties. And actually, they're gaining business in Howard and Randolph County, because a lot of people in Columbia are heading up to those counties to do their shopping. So I don't know. Hopefully, we'll get back to somewhat of a normalcy with that. But again, it's a very serious health concern, and we need to take it seriously.
The Missouri General Assembly took up legislation to address violent crime this summer and the issue is likely to come up again. What should the General Assembly do to address the problem?
Well, if that's a very good question, and I don't know if I have the right answer.
... The House felt that the concurrent jurisdiction for the attorney general was not the way to go. The Senate felt very strongly that that should have happened. I know the governor was supportive of that. I'm pretty sure that's going to come back up in the future. But we tried to pass a bill that would not hamper Second Amendment rights for folks and, and that again that we could not come to an agreement with the House and the Senate on that and that's the Republican side more or less. So, you know, we're gonna have to keep working on that. It's a very, very serious issue and especially in the urban areas, and I'm almost certain that we'll be addressing when we get back in session in January.