State Senate And House Races Fuel Voter Interest

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Incumbent Missouri State Senator Sandy Crawford (Republican) is being challenged by Joseph Poor (Democrat) for the District 28 seat. The district is comprised of Benton, Cedar, Dallas, Hickory, Laclede, Pettis, Polk and St. Clair Counties.
Sen. Crawford was elected to the District 28 position in August 2017 during a special election to fill then – Lt. Gov. Mike Parson’s seat. She served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2010 through 2017. 
She is a lifelong resident of Dallas County and a 1975 graduate of Buffalo High School.  She received her B.S. in Finance from Missouri State University in 1995 and is a 1998 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking in Colorado. Prior to becoming a State Representative, she enjoyed a 30-year banking career at O’Bannon Bank in Buffalo.
Sen. Crawford is a member of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Lebanon, Dallas County Cattlemen, NRA, Farm Bureau, Buffalo FFA Alumni, State Fair Foundation, FBLA (Professional Division member) and Lebanon Rotary. She is also a member of five Chambers of Commerce in her district, is on the advisory board for Lebanon Technical and Career Center, and serves as a board member for the Buffalo Area Community Housing Corporation. She and husband, John, raise beef cattle near Buffalo where they reside.
Sen. Crawford wrote about her reasons for running for re-election to her Senate seat as well as the issues she wants to address in that office. A summary of her Candidate Questionnaire responses are presented below.
She stated that agriculture is very important to her and this district, and that she understands agriculture first hand because of her cow/calf operation. She filed the “fake Meat” bill during the past session, and when it passed as part of a larger agriculture bill, Missouri became the first state in the nation to pass legislation protecting the brand that Missouri Cattlemen have worked hard for.
She wants to make our state a better place to live and do business in, and states that it is imperative that we stand up to protect family values and push back on burdensome regulations.
She stated that she has passed many bills that streamline and update processes for the County Collectors, County Treasurers and Public Administrators. She has also worked on bills that streamline unnecessary regulations for businesses. She has passed tort reform and pro agriculture legislation and will continue to work on these issues. She wants to make Missouri government more efficient.
She states that she is the best person for the position because she is a conservative Christian, a lifelong resident of this district, active in all areas of the district, and accessible to her constituents. She also says that her experience and skill at building relationships matter.
“I am pro-life, pro-second amendment, pro-business, and pro-agriculture,” said Sen. Crawford.
 Joseph Poor is newer to politics than his opponent, Sen. Crawford, and he wants to be a strong voice for working-class Missourians. He is a 2000 graduate of Camdenton High School and grew up in the Lake of the Ozarks region. He has lived in the Bennett Springs area for 10 years, and has a 12-year old daughter. He works in the field of substance abuse recovery at Pathways.
Poor is eager to restore equity to the state and says that “We must return the idea to our Capitol that our representatives and senators are elected to act in the interests of the working majority instead of the wealthy minority.” His goals include addressing many issues, but his top three concerns are related to Medicaid Expansion, the Opioid Epidemic, and Educational Funding.
Poor would like to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor by tying in with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although Medicaid was funded 100 percent by the federal government until 2016, it is down to 94 percent in 2018 and will level off at 90 percent in 2020. Missouri has not expanded Medicaid coverage, but states that have expanded it via the ACA have increased rural coverage by 40 percent, according to Poor.
“This failure to expand Medicaid in Missouri is causing some rural hospitals to close,” said Poor. “Pemiscot County (in the southeastern corner of the boot heel) is especially having this problem. We have the highest internal mortality rate, and this applies to infants too.”
Poor would like to pursue a true Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in Missouri to help prevent patients from obtaining more narcotic medications than are medically necessary. He sees the result of “doctor shopping” in his job, where people get addicted to drugs because they are available by going from doctor to doctor and pharmacy to pharmacy.
“These are not damaged people,” said Poor. “These are not failures. These folks are our neighbors, coworkers, family and friends and their lives have value…When shown some compassion they can be helped…Our failure to act is a blemish upon our state.”
The third issue of great importance to Poor has to do with education funding. He said that in the course of the last two legislative sessions, a quarter of a billion dollars has been cut from education in Missouri. He says that we need to invest in the next generation and fill the occupational needs of the future. 
He is also concerned about the debt accumulated by those trying to further their education, and the diminishing worth of that education in today’s economy. He says that this generation will not attain the same level of security and financial freedom enjoyed by previous generations due to shifting economic conditions and the high concentration of benefits trickling to the top while neglecting the bottom and middle.
Poor states that we must pass legislation that repeals Right to Work and preserves the right of employees to collectively bargain. 
“We must preserve and protect prevailing wage and ensure that hard working tradesmen are paid fairly for their skills. We must codify into law legislation that increases our minimum wage and allows hard working Missourians a real opportunity at achieving The American Dream.”
Joan Shores (Democrat) and Rodger Reedy (Republican) are on the November 6 ballot as candidates for the opening seat in the Missouri House of Representatives, District 57 (HD 57). The winning candidate will replace Rep. Wanda Brown, who was first elected in 2010 and has reached her term limits. HD 57 covers Henry and parts of Benton, Bates and Cass Counties.
Joan Shores was born in Paola, Kansas, attending school there before entering the University of Kansas, where she graduated with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition. She worked for decades as a Registered Dietician, spending many of her years in hospitals and long-term care facilities. She is now retired and a member of Missouri Women’s Leadership Coalition, American Association of University Women, Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus and the Cass County Women’s Democratic Club. She is a 37-year resident of the HD 57 in Cass County, and she and her husband live on a farm nearest to Archie, but with a Harrisonville address.
Shores is running for HD 57 because she “is worried about education and our children’s future, and about our family farms that depend on expanded foreign markets to buy their crops.” She plans to demand expansions to Medicaid to help our state maintain rural hospitals.
“I am here to focus on citizens, not special interests,” said Shores on a Facebook video.
Shores wants to increase the minimum wage to a living wage and believes that we must provide equal opportunity for all, passing laws to guarantee equal pay for equal work, closing the gender pay gap. 
Shores’ lifelong career in Healthcare had an emphasis in preventive healthcare for seniors aging at home. She is an active member of organizations advocating for equal opportunity for all, and she has lobbied for such issues as pay equity for women and minimum wage increase for years at our State Capitol.
“I want to work alongside you and together we will raise up Missouri!” said Shores. “Our beautiful state of Missouri is filled with history and plentiful resources. Most important, our Missouri is filled with people who help their neighbors, people who care.”
According to Onyourballot.vote411, the candidacy for Shores has been endorsed by the Missouri Women’s Leadership Coalition, the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus, and the Missouri State UAW Political Action Committee.
Rodger Reedy is a lifelong resident of Missouri. He resides in Windsor with his wife, Rhonda, of 28 years, who is a first-grade teacher. They have three grown children; Kayley, Austin and Wesley. He graduated from Lincoln High School, is a Missouri State Certified Real Estate Appraiser, and has been the elected Benton County Assessor for the last 27 years.
Reedy is also a lifelong farmer and cattleman and has experience working with the state legislature through his involvement in the Missouri Association of Counties and the Missouri State Assessors Association. He is also involved with various other organizations including Missouri Cattleman’s Association and Missouri Farm Bureau. In addition to serving as Assessor, Reedy also operates his family farm, raising feeder cattle with the help of his children. He is active in his local community and attends the First Baptist Church of Clinton.
If elected to HD 57, Reedy would like to focus on job creation and being a voice for Missouri agriculture. He also wants workforce development and job creation in the district.
“I am running for State Representative so I can take the knowledge and experience I gained at the county level to Jefferson City,” said Reedy in an online article in “Often times, decisions made on the state level have a major impact on our local communities. If elected, I promise to be pro-agriculture, pro-2nd Amendment rights, pro-life and pro-jobs. I will also work diligently to advocate on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens, including our seniors and children. In the coming months, I look forward to meeting and listening to the people of the 57th District.”