(January 7, 2021) — This week, legislators returned to the Capitol for the start of the 101st General Assembly. Activity in the Senate got underway at noon on Wednesday with 34 members taking their places in the chamber. Among my colleagues were 11 newly elected senators who took the oath of office for the first time, as well as five members returning for a second term. I was one of the senators taking the oath for the second, and final time due to term limits.
I cannot express how grateful I am to the people of the 21st Senatorial District for their continued support. To stand in the Senate chamber and realize that nearly 180,000 people are counting on me to make decisions on their behalf is a humbling experience. I appreciate the confidence placed in me, and vow to do my best to represent you.
I never set out to be a legislator. I was born and raised in a small town, the son of a math teacher and school librarian. I worked my way through college, earned my accounting degree and became a CPA. I wore the uniform of my country as a member of the Missouri National Guard, proudly serving in the same artillery battery as Harry Truman. Eventually, I was encouraged to enter public life and I ran for the House of Representatives. I served four terms in the House, and was elected speaker pro tem by my peers. In 2016, I successfully ran for the Missouri Senate, and was reelected to my seat this past November.
Throughout my legislative career, I have focused on legislation that protects Missourians from excessive taxation while creating a better economic environment for jobs and growth. I strive to be a taxpayer watchdog over government spending, and always seek to protect the liberty and freedom of individual citizens. I am a small-government conservative and a fierce champion for the district I represent. I will do my best to continue speaking out for the people of the 21st Senatorial District during the remaining four years of my legislative service.
As we begin the 101st General Assembly, there are many challenges ahead of us. The continued impact of COVID-19 will weigh heavy on everything we do in the Legislature. The economic consequences of the pandemic will likely have a major effect on state revenues, making the always-difficult challenge of passing a balanced budget even more daunting this year. I worry the voter’s approval of Medicaid expansion in August of 2020 will make balancing the budget even harder.
There are many issues that will occupy our time and attention over the next four and half months. I’ll be sure to keep you informed as events progress. In the meantime, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your continued support. Serving the citizens of Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray and Saline counties is an honor and a privilege. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to better represent you, or to make Missouri’s government more responsive to your needs.
As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at 573-751-4302. You may also email me at email@example.com.