Missouri has always been an embattled state when it comes to politics. After the 2008 presidential election the state remained neither red nor blue for weeks after “losing” tens of thousands of votes in districts predominantly held by democrats.
In the 2016 race for Governor, the now ousted Republican candidate, Eric Greitens, swept his way to victory by brandishing his semi-automatic weapons in commercials aimed at the daytime television crowd. Even democrats running for various positions mentioned NRA endorsements.
Yet Claire McCaskill has held her democratic Senate seat for twelve years, proving herself a legislative heavyweight.
On the local level, the races for Judgeship, Sheriff and even City Council often prove contentious, swinging in either party’s favor, illustrating the independent nature of the Missouri voter.
So it is with the run for the State Seat representing Buchanan and Platte Counties in the Missouri Senate. This seat is currently held by Republican Robert Schaaf who is stepping down due to term limits. Moderate Democrat Martin Rucker, who won his party’s nomination unopposed this August, will face off against extreme Conservative Tony Luetkemeyer. It is a first run for both. This is rare on it’s own merit, but both also went to Mizzou and have been acquainted since college.
Let’s take a look at the platforms of these two candidates.
Martin Rucker’s Platform
Rucker, originally of Saint Joseph and now living in Kansas City, is a former NFL player. Like most moderate Democrats, he is a fiscal conservative, supports Universal Healthcare and is community oriented. He opposes “right to work” legislation and supports the advancement of fair wage practices. His focus on education as well as neighborhood development is reflected in a hands on approach to his campaign as he is often involved in various events around his potential district.
Luetkemeyer, a lawyer from Parkville, is running on a completely different strategy; one so riddled with contrast any potential voter’s eyebrows should be somewhat raised. Billing himself as a “political outsider,” Luetkemeyer took over $250,000 in PAC “dark money” during his primary bid, prompting a complaint from fellow Republican Schaaf to the State Ethics Commission.
Essentially, he has worked for various government bodies throughout his entire career via appointment. His ads tout “ending sanctuary cities in Missouri,” a State that not only has no sanctuary cities, but has laws in place rendering the practice illegal. He is also promoting term limits for the position he is running for. As noted earlier, his position already has term limits. In essence, this candidate is running on falsehoods and unfounded fear.
As usual in the area, the race will undoubtedly be close along party lines, but, in a State whose constituents often define themselves as Independents, it could swing either way. The voter has the power to effect real change on the local level, which carries all the way up the chain of power. It is a chance to correct the trickle down politics that many are frustrated by.