Interview with Fourth Congressional District candidate Mark Alford
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
When U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler said she was retiring from the House, Republican candidates rushed to fill the seat in the conservative Fourth District.
Mark Alford of Kansas City easily emerged from the field of seven candidates.
Alford spent much of his career as a broadcaster in Kansas City. The redrawn Fourth Congressional District has now lumped in part of Kansas City and its suburbs with Mid-Missouri and the Lake of the Ozarks area. The new map cuts Boone County in half, with everything north of Broadway in Columbia in the Fourth District.
Marissa Hollowed: Tell the viewers a little bit about yourself.
Mark Alford: Thank you so much. I was born in Baytown, Texas, 20 miles east of Houston. My dad was a special Texas Ranger and an ag teacher. My mom was school bus driver. I knew from the age of nine that I wanted to be a professional communicator -- did everything I could to land a great job and reporting and anchoring, spent 35 years in the news media. The last 24 was in Kansas City anchoring the No. 1 show for Fox station there. My wife was a reporter as well and she would go on and work in the private sector.
But as a lifelong conservative, I knew fighting from the inside that I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to bring truth, perspective, balance to the news. I felt like we had a fiduciary responsibility that the viewers are our clients. And I really wanted to give them the full picture. Kind of got crossways with management a lot on doing that. But I kept fighting and when Vicki Hartzler, the current congresswoman, decided she was going to run for U.S. Senate, Roy Blunt was retiring, she was going to try to fill his position. I knew then that I wanted to use my God-given talents that I had honed over those 35 years to put to use for the American people, to put to use for the state of Missouri, and in particular the Fourth Congressional District.
Hollowed: How would you represent the interests of people here in mid-Missouri being from the western edge of the state?
Alford: The Fourth Congressional District is quite vast. It is mostly rural. You know, we have 95,000 farms in the state of Missouri, many of them are in the Fourth Congressional District. And so our district reaches to the southern part of Kansas City along the state line, almost down to Springfield. And then over to the Lake of the Ozarks, of course, picking up Boone County, it is now split with a new map and the Fourth Congressional District is going to be covered by me hopefully, after the election. And then Blaine Luetkemeyer to the south of Broadway.
One of the things that we've been really focused on is getting out and meeting the people, listening to their concerns. We've been to all 24 counties in a year, and some we've been to twice, three, sometimes four. And what my goal is Marissa is to listen to people. As a former reporter, you do this, I know you're listening now, we're trying to gather in information. The way our Founding Fathers had the House of Representatives set up, it's where to be a voice of the people. How do you be a voice for the people? First, you have to know what's in their hearts, souls and minds and represent their values and what their agenda is. This is not about Mark Alford. It's not about my wife. It's about going to Washington and telling the stories of the people of the Fourth Congressional District and also telling their stories in the national media. For too long, the loudest voices coming out of Missouri had been out of Kansas City, Emanuel Cleaver, and Cori Bush out of St. Louis. And I'm here to tell you right now, those are not the true voices of Missouri, that the people in the Fourth Congressional District represent the true conservative voices of Missouri.
Hollowed: What should Republicans do if they win control of Congress?
Alford: You know, for too long, Republicans have gained control in Washington and have done little with it. This year is going to be different. There is going to be new leadership. I can't wait to see Nancy Pelosi begrudgingly hand over that gavel to the new Republican Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy. And on day one, Jan. 3, there are going to be actionable steps that are going to try to take back America.
Now we know that President Biden is probably not going to sign some of the legislation that we passed, but we are going to get it on record. We are going to defund the 87,000 IRS agents that this administration is sicking on the backs of the average American. We are going to deregulate a lot of things that are hampering some of the things in the Fourth Congressional District, that being the overregulation of our farmers, the EPA, USDA and Department of Justice going into our farms and for some uncanny reasoning trying to to keep them from having great yields. We have an EPA that is trying to shut down farmers over an endangered beetle by eliminating pesticides that could eliminate the beetle, that they considered a harm to this beetle that's endangered and they would rather have a lower yield. Our farmers are needed more than ever. We feed not just Missouri, not just America, but we feed the world.
Hollowed: Do you support a national abortion ban?
Alford: I think what we have in place is sufficient at this point. You know under the Dobbs decision, Roe v. Wade was overturned and rightfully returned to the states where it never should have left to begin with. Life is precious. I'm pro-life and I want to protect life at any cost.