November 29, 2020

Breaking down the ballot

Voting can be hard with so many options to choose from.

Nov. 3 is inching closer. With debates and articles coming out about the presidential candidates every day, it may be easy to forget there are other candidates and proposals on the ballot. There are the candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, amendments, the list goes on. Let us help you break it down.

Governor

As the polls show, Governor Mike Parson (Rep) is leading Nicole Galloway (Dem) by at least six points. Galloway, the Democratic nominee, was the state’s auditor prior to the election. Parson took the role of Governor after Eric Greitens resigned from office in 2018.

On the issues, Gov. Parson has listed government reform, infrastructure, the workforce and education and “stronger communities” as his priorities.

“Governor Parson is and always has been a strong advocate for education. His track record proves it,” a spokesperson from Parson’s office wrote in an email to The Journal. “He truly believes education is the backbone behind a strong workforce for Missouri.”

Parson cut education spending – specifically K-12 by $123 million and higher education funding – in June after the COVID-19 shutdowns. Parson recently announced “over $133 million in funding to support critical services in several areas, including nearly $95 million in CARES Act funding and $40 million in general revenue. Nearly $100 million of these funds will support K-12 and higher education,” according to a press release from his site. They increased funding after re-evaluating the cuts after the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021.

Graphic by Kenzie Akins

Galloway has also prioritized education.

“As Governor, I will work to restore funding to institutions of higher education to create a path for broader college affordability and ensure that our students have the tools at their disposal to be successful across a wide spectrum of emerging industries,” Galloway said in an email to The Journal.

Other issues Galloway has at the top of her list include healthcare, addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, criminal justice reform and ending the opioid epidemic.

Neither candidate supports defunding police. Parson did not support expanding Medicare, while Galloway did. Both list the response to COVID-19 as a primary concern, with Parson focusing on the economy and Galloway focused on making healthcare accessible.

Lieutenant Governor

Alissa Canady (Dem) was a Kansas City city council member and prosecuting attorney. Canady also owned a small business. Her primary concern as Lieutenant Governor would be reducing gun violence. She cites working closely with victims of Kansas City violence during her time as a prosecuting attorney as inspiration to work to end gun violence. Canady says more police and longer prison sentences won’t end violent crime.

Mike Kehoe (Rep) has been the Lieutenant Governor since 2018. He was also a state senator from 2010 to 2018. Kehoe wants to focus on creating jobs and economic opportunities. He says he is “pro-family, pro-jobs,” and wants to help out entrepreneurs.

Secretary of State

Jay Ashcroft (Rep) is the current Secretary of State. Ashcroft went to law school at St. Louis University and practiced law prior to becoming Secretary of State. He has been in office since 2016. Ashcroft’s primary focus is on the security of our elections. He also wants to work towards bettering the public library system. Ashcroft’s final wish for the next four years would be to help new small businesses grow.

Yinka Faleti (Dem) is from Nigeria and came to the United States when he was 7 years old. He’s a veteran and was senior vice president of United Way, a nonprofit organization that helps Missouri residents in need. Faleti also wants to focus on voting rights. His promise is to rid “unnecessary obstacles” when casting a ballot, such as confusing ballot language and notary requirements. Faleti also wants to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in Missouri.

State Treasurer

Vicki Lorenz Englud (Dem) was a state representative from 2009 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2014. She also served on Lindbergh’s school board from 2011 to 2017. Now, she wants to be State Treasurer. Englud said her primary responsibility if elected will be getting the economy back on track in a post-COVID-19 shutdown environment. She also wants to bring diversity and representation to the treasurer’s office and implement programs that will make it easier for Missourians to start a small business, save for retirement and invest in their children’s education.

Scott Fitzpatrick is the current State Treasurer. He was a state representative from 2013 to 2019 and was appointed to his current position in 2019. Fitzpatrick is focused on pension investments and ensuring children have access to quality education. Fitzpatrick plans to help children through using need-based scholarships.

Attorney General

Eric Schmitt (Rep) has been a councilman, state senator, treasurer and is now the current attorney general. Schmitt served longest as a senator, from 2009 to 2017. Schmitt wants the attorney general’s office, U.S. attorney’s office and local law enforcement units to unite in order to help fight and prosecute violent crimes.

Rich Finneran (Dem) wants to root out what he calls “the political bias that has infected the current administration.” He supports the Affordable Care Act and wants to protect Clean Missouri. He says his first priority is healthcare, then the inequities of a criminal justice system and thirdly, corruption in politics.

State Representative for District 2

Jill Schupp has been a state senator since 2014. Schupp is challenging Representative Ann Wagner for the House seat. Schupp has passed bipartisan bills during her time in the Senate. She passed bills that involved making daycare centers safer, requiring suicide prevention training for mental health professionals and increasing access to rape kits. Schupp has listed a top priority for her if elected as affordable healthcare.

Ann Wagner has been the representative for District 2 since 2012. Like Schupp, Wagner has spoken out against the backlog of rape kits in the country. Her website lists her core priorities with sex trafficking and protecting survivors of assault. She also “strongly opposes this Administration’s policy of taking unconstitutional, unilateral actions on immigration.” Wagner is pro-life and promises to uphold conservative values on her website.

Constitutional Amendment 1

Amendment 1 creates term limits for the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor and attorney general. The people holding office would be limited to two terms, like the governor and treasurer.

Constitutional Amendment 3

This proposal allows the reversal of some parts of the “Clean Missouri” approval in 2018. Amendment 3 would eliminate a nonpartisan state demographer, approved in 2018, who is used in redistricting the state. It also returns bipartisan commissioners the governor appoints who will draw the lines for the House and Senate districts.

Also in the bill is the changing of the limit of lobbyist gifts. The current limit on the price of gifts from lobbyists to politicians is $5. This amendment would lower the limit to $0. It also lowers campaign contributions from $2,500 to $2,400.

If you’d like more information on Amendment 3, see the story by Brian Ostrander.

For more information on the ballot, such as judges up for re-election and third-party candidates, go to vote411.org.

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