In his last stop in Sedalia before Tuesday’s election, U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander said he is using these last few days to focus on middle class economic issues and the need for new leadership in Washington, D.C., to help solve some of those issues.
Local Democrats heard from the Missouri Secretary of State, who will face incumbent U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, in Tuesday’s election, during a stop Thursday morning at Pettis County Democrat Headquarters in downtown Sedalia.
Kander said during his remarks to the sizable crowd gathered that one of the big problems with leaders in Washington, D.C., is that legislators “compartmentalize” issues, rather than realizing citizens face more than one problem at a time.
He used the example of student loan burdens on middle class families, pointing out that raising the minimum wage, making college more affordable and creating equal pay for men and women would help alleviate the burden.
“We need more people in Washington who understand that college has to be more affordable, or middle class families are going to struggle under that debt for generations,” Kander said. “We need people who will let students refinance their student loans like an auto or a home loan or cap that interest rate. We need people who understand that the middle class needs a tax cut more than a multi-national corporation needs another tax loophole. We need folks who understand that it is wrong when women are paid less than men for doing the exact same thing.”
When Kander last visited Sedalia this summer before the August primary election, polls were showing he and Blunt as the leaders of their parties for the U.S. Senate race, and those polls are relatively the same going into Tuesday. Blunt and Kander are in a dead heat for the Missouri seat, and many political eyes are on this race to possibly gain Democratic control of the Senate if Kander wins.
“We have all the momentum in this race, and the reason we have all the momentum is because people recognize that given a choice between someone who’s been there for 20 years, enriching himself and his family rather than looking out for Missourians, and someone who served their country in Afghanistan and has a record of working across the aisle and getting things done, they’re choosing us,” Kander told the Democrat after his remarks.
Kander said there are two kinds of undecided voters in the 2016 general election — those who haven’t decided on a candidate but will make a decision based on commercials and media reports, and those who haven’t decided if they will be voting at all.
“Those folks, they look at a campaign at the national level this year that is vitriolic and they’re disappointed in the acrimony of the two sides at the national level,” he said. “And understandably they look at the process and they don’t know if they want to participate in it on Tuesday.”
Kander called on those gathered to sign up to make phone calls and knock on doors during the last few days of the campaign, but he especially said citizens need to focus on talking with voters who are hesitant to enter the voting booth next week.
“For me, like I told the folks out here, everyone’s got their own sort of testimony as to why voting is important,” Kander told the Democrat. “For me it’s that there are a lot of people in this country who went across an ocean and risked their life for people in our country to have the right to vote and there are a lot of people who aren’t here because they gave their life for that right, and the least that we can do is participate in our democracy. When I think about the importance of voting I think about the people that I served with and the sacrifices they’ve made.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.