Opponent: Bill Betteridge
Occupation: Retired firefighter; bakery owner; cattle farmer
Education: United States Air Force Security Police Academy and NCO Preparatory School; firefighter and EMT training
Previous political experience: None
Family: Wife Dawn; son Carter, 15
What is your position on Amendment 3, which would roll back parts of the Clean Missouri amendment voters approved in 2018?
I'm gonna be voting for it.
I think the bipartisan group that we had before was the way to go instead of relying or allowing one person to make those decisions. So much of the reason why I'm running today is because of this issue and the possibility of what the districts are going to look like, after the census.
My wife asked, and I said, well, if I don't do it now, then the lines could be drawn in such a way that ... I'll just be honest, we're close enough to Columbia, that the lines could be drawn and Columbia could be dictating much of our politics in the 48th District. So it was like, do it now or, or run the risk of being much more difficult to get to this position. So I'm going to vote in favor of it.
I often think about Virginia. I'm a huge pro-Second Amendment person. And a couple of years ago, Virginia went through some really heated Second Amendment issues. And as I understand it, it's because Virginia was redrawn, and their districts were redrawn in such a way that it turned a red state into a blue state. So I really don't like the thought of that. So I'll be voting in favor of it.
Our 48th district takes in parts of six counties. And so it takes a long time to get from one end to the other. And if the lines are drawn, some of them can be drawn in these real long, skinny districts that are going to be impossible for me here to represent somebody, you know, 150 miles away. I mean, that's 150 miles is a little extreme. But the sense of that is that I would rather the districts be kept as close and tight as possible so that people can actually get good representation from people who live with them. And around them. Yeah, it makes sense.
How will Medicaid expansion affect the 48th District?
Well, I think it's a bit too soon to tell, honestly. A lot of people have promoted that meant that the expansion would help rural hospitals, rural medical facilities. We lost a hospital here in Boonville, just recently. I don't think that's ever coming back. Not in not in the way that it was previously.
So my concern is, is that when the federal dollars run out, then we're gonna have to pay for it. Sowe have a balanced budget amendment, that means that if the money is not here, we're gonna have to cut it from somewhere. So in order to pay for that, we're gonna have to possibly cut money from something else and/or raise taxes. I don't like the idea of not funding education and as we know, education is the biggest chunk of money that's out there. So it seems to always get cut first. I don't like the idea of that. And I like the idea of raising taxes.
But it is just too soon to tell, honestly, as far as as far as I can tell.
Has the state done enough to fight COVID-19?
I don't want armchair quarterback anyone, including the governor. He's taken a lot of heat, heat on the things that he has done and hasn't done. I think I think we're on the right track.
I'm not a fan of lockdowns. I'm not a fan of the government telling ... my wife and I own a small business in Boonville, I'm not a fan of the government being able to tell me that we're not essential and that we have to close our business down. I'm not.
I think they've done enough. Again, it goes back to local control. Columbia, Boone County is different than Cooper County and what's going on. I can't see that I would think that at the state level could have, well, they could have done a lot more, but I'm glad they didn't. So I think they took some steps that none of us knew what was going on in beginning. And I can understand the steps that were taking place. But we all have to learn from what is actually going on now. And I hope that all politicians learn from any lessons that are out there.
Yeah, we certainly know a lot more about it six months in here than we did back in March and April. That's for sure.
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?
So very good question. And again, I agree that a lot of people think that two issues, that opening up St. Louis for police officers to be outside that area, and then the witness protection stuff, was just kind of little things that really, they're going to help, of course, but they're really, I don't think they're going to do that much.
Now, that St. Louis thing, that's a big deal. Need officers there, we have to ensure that that funding is available that we can provide to police officers. I'm not defunding the police officers or the police departments. I'm not that guy, I never will be. As a retired firefighter from the city of Columbia, we relied on the city police department to make sure everything was safe before we could go do our job. So if the police department isn't there, then the fire department isn't going to be there. And then nothing's going to happen, you know, all down that whole line. So we need to ensure that whatever fundings available through the state is maintained.
Truth be told, the violent crime that's going on in this country and in this state is a societal problem. We have to come together as a community, we have to come together as a neighborhood. And ... the good people have to say that the bad people can't do what they're doing. And it comes down to that. So much of what's going on is is nothing more laws is going to change. Criminals don't --- they don't follow the laws that are already on the books. So as far as laws go, coming out of the legislature, I'm not certain, honestly. Again, making more laws isn't going to fix the problem.