Missouri will have multiple contested state and local races. Local races will vary with the region, but statewide, there will be five of the six state offices up for election this year: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and State Treasurer. In addition, all seats in the Missouri House and one-half of them in the Missouri Senate go up before voters. There will also be a number of ballot measures, both legislative referendums and petition initiatives that voters will have to decide. Some of the ballot measures will appear on the August Primary ballot, while others will be on the November General Election ballot. Where the initiatives ultimately land will be up to the discretion of Governor Nixon.
It is my desire to be a source of information to my constituents during the summer and the fall—mostly on state issues; however, some of those issues will undoubtedly cross over to the national scene, and I will address them, as well. The August Primary is just 56 days away, and I plan to deal more with the state races and ballot measures in an upcoming article.
As I travel around the District (and much of the state), I frequently am asked about various races and issues we will be deciding this election cycle. My intent is not only to inform the constituents of the 160th District about statewide issues and races, but to encourage each member of the District to exercise his or her right and responsibility to vote.
I firmly believe it is very important that every citizen of Missouri learn about and understand the issues and the candidates before heading to the polls. This needs to be done both for primary and general elections. Not only is voting a responsibility of every citizen, it is a hard-earned privilege that has been given to each of us, and one that we should never take for granted. Neither should we cast an uninformed vote. Every voter needs to do his or her “homework” before heading to the polls.
The foremost area of voter concern I encounter most often is that of selecting the next president of the United States. Following are what I personally feel are several of the major issues our next president will face upon taking office in January of 2017 and what their impact could be on the State of Missouri.
1. A dangerously divided nation, or, “a house divided against itself.” Division of a nation has long been recognized as an extremely serious national issue. American history itself echoes these words and warnings. Unfortunately, our own state is not exempt from division—just think back to the recent past incidents at Ferguson and at MU.
Among other things, the present division also involves our national debt, a debt that has grown in excess of over $19 trillion and has no apparent end in sight. This has a major effect on all state governments and their budgets, including Missouri’s.
2. Immigration and protecting our borders, or allowing completely open borders. This is a point of contention with many. I firmly believe we have a dire need to know who is here—and why.
3. ISIS, radical Islamic terrorists and the financial costs to our nation. How are we being protected, and is the federal government adequately providing security for our people? What is the monetary impact on every citizen for those costs, costs we can ill afford to overlook?
4. Supreme Court Justices. The new president may very well nominate 3 or 4 Justices to the Supreme Court who could direct our nation for the next forty or fifty years. This is a sobering thought and one not to be taken lightly.
It’s often stated that whatever election is looming ahead could be the most important one in our lifetime. With the serious matters staring down on us from all sides, I believe that the upcoming General Election may very well be just that, the most important election we or our children or our grandchildren will ever face. In light of that, we must ask tough questions and find satisfactory answers to our questions. Finally, we must not forego our obligation to go to the polls and make our desires known in the form of our vote.
Every eligible citizen needs to get out and vote, and the importance of doing so cannot be overstated. The privilege to vote was important enough to many of our ancestors for them to give their lives for it, and we must neither ignore nor treat lightly their marvelous gift to us.