Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander spoke with citizens in Sedalia on Friday as part of his 50-stop #FixCongress bus tour for his campaign to be Missouri’s next U.S. senator.
The Democratic candidate will face Chief Wana Dubie, of Salem, Cori Bush, of Florissant, and Robert Mack, of St. Louis, in Tuesday’s primary election. He has challenged incumbent Republican Roy Blunt, who will face Kristi Nichols, of Independence, Bernie Mowinski, of Sunrise Beach, and Ryan D. Luethy, of St. Louis, in the primary. Other candidates include Libertarians Jonathan Dine, of Kansas City, and Herschel L. Young, of Harrisonville, and Constitution candidate Fred Ryman, of Jefferson City.
Kander’s campaign bus, which was parked at the Trail’s End landmark on the Missouri State Fairgrounds for his visit Friday morning, made his campaign platform very clear with #FixCongress on all sides along with the quote “We won’t change Washington until we change the people we elect.”
“We need more people in Congress who have voluntarily been through something in their life that’s harder than a re-election campaign,” Kander told the Democrat after his remarks. “As a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, who served here in Sedalia as well, I understand the importance of putting your country ahead of your party.”
According to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research that was published Friday, the race between Blunt and Kander, the widely predicted winners of Tuesday’s primary, is a close one with Blunt holding a 4-percentage-point lead over Kander.
“In a potential general election matchup, Blunt was favored by 47 percent of poll respondents, Kander by 43 percent,” the article states. “The poll of 625 likely voters was taken between the two national political conventions and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.”
Kander said he thinks the close margin shows Missourians’ attitudes toward their current U.S. senator.
“Missourians are tired of Sen. Blunt’s record of waking up every single morning thinking about what he can do for special interests that fund his campaign and his lifestyle and they want somebody who is going to make choices that are about them and not about those special interests. I think that’s demonstrated over and over again,” he told the Democrat.
During his short remarks Friday morning, Kander frequently referenced the need to fix Congress, giving the example of Congress’ seven-week break that started about two weeks ago.
“It gets really especially frustrating for me to watch people in Congress refuse to make decisions if they’re not the easy choice,” he told those gathered. “You look at what’s going on right now — folks are showing up to work every day in Missouri, they’re not going to take an early weekend if their work’s not done. They’re going to work through lunch if their work’s not done, they’re not going to take a seven-week break. But that’s not what’s going on in the United States Congress.”
He gave a few examples of issues that Congress “failed to deal with” before beginning the break, including discussions on the Zika virus and ISIS as well as no hearing for a Supreme Court nominee.
“One of the big differences in this race, clearly, for me, a middle class tax cut is a top priority. For Sen. Blunt, his top priority before anyone in the middle class would ever get a tax cut, he’s going to be fighting for special interests to get tax breaks,” Kander told the Democrat. “He’s going to be fighting to continue these bad trade deals that ship American jobs, Missouri jobs included, overseas.
“Not only is he for these trade deals that ship the jobs overseas, he’s for continuing to reward the companies that do it with tax breaks. I think we should only do trade deals that are good for Missouri and I think we should stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas and make sure those tax breaks go to the middle class instead.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.