As my campaign progresses, I am meeting more and more people. Many of them don’t even care much that there is an election coming. This goes along with national statistics showing that in 2016, about 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls. That is actually pretty good, as there are many elections nearer to 20 percent or so. Presidential elections tend to bring out the respective party’s bases, and when there is only a local election, there is generally not as much enthusiasm. There are certainly exceptions to that, as local issues can promulgate a larger turnout, but the rule is that off-year elections generally have a lower turnout.
So, obviously, this is an off-year election. The giants in this year’s general election in Missouri are the two eventual candidates for U.S. senator, and statewide, the state auditor. That’s it. There will be ballot proposals, including a few constitutional amendments, if enough petitions were signed, allowing the issues to be placed on the ballot. Most of the other races have to do with state representatives and some state senators. State representatives have a two-year term, just like the U.S. congressmen, while the state senators have a four-year term, and only some of these seats are up for election. In the U.S. senate, terms are six years, so generally only about one-third of the seats are in play. It just so happens that one of Missouri’s senate seats is up for election this year.
So, I was thinking that the state representative race would be a relatively big deal. While in the process of going door-to-door, I have found the exact opposite to be true. Many people do not even realize that there is an election this year. When I explain the races that are being contested, they show some interest in the senate election, but very little in the state representative race. Even some of my acquaintances do not know I am running for this election. Many do not know the incumbent’s name or where he is from. I must admit that I did not know the exact boundaries of this district until two years ago when John Cozart was running and I had a look at the map. I did know that Warrensburg was involved, as Gary Grigsby is from there and he has run twice. Until I looked at the map, I assumed that Slater and Arrow Rock were in this district, but many things changed after the redistricting of 2010.
So, going door-to-door has been an education for me. Now, I try to engage people in a conversation about what they would like to see done in the district, and then I get around to telling them my platform. As I have stated before, the general response to my question is that people desire more jobs. They also desire a higher working wage. They want better living conditions. Not one has stated that they want more welfare. I have been pleased to discover that people desire to work, to make a living and to raise their families. The problem seems to be a depressed job market and too many entry level positions that do not offer health insurance or many other benefits. It would be tough to raise a family on $7 or $8 an hour, plus tips or bonuses. Maybe a person can get by if they are single and living with their parents, but things would need to pick up later, if they had any bigger plans.
To those of you who talk to me about the need for jobs, better wages and benefits, I say to you that I am educating myself on the issues and I would certainly be interested in developing remedies to them should I get to be in a position to do so.
I had a lot of feedback to my blog last week about David Kemm and community service. It seemed to strike a nerve. I am glad that most of the responses were positive. I did get one mixed message from a Facebook friend, stating that he was glad to see I did not campaign in that blog as I have done before.
I do want to make this clear. The purpose of this blog is to let people know what I am up to while campaigning. I try to educate the readers as I get experience and have situations that develop while I am campaigning. The editors did ask me to rewrite one article after I made my position too clear, as they are not endorsing anything. So, I do have restrictions and I am trying to stay within them. However, by the time November’s elections come around, I hope to have people alerted to the fact that there is an election, that I am a candidate, and I hope to get my positions across so that they can vote for me or my opponent based on what they know about us, and hopefully they will leave party politics out of their final decision. I will try to stay within my limits. Stay cool and safe in this excessive heat.