Bond's re-election campaign visits Cape Girardeau

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

With Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" blaring over the loudspeakers and a gathering of about 50 people waving placards and chanting "Kit, Kit," the back room of the Southeast Missouri Regional Crime Laboratory in Cape Girardeau took on the atmosphere of a prizefight.

When the blue curtain lifted to reveal U.S. Sen. Kit Bond making his way to the podium, the crowd erupted. They knew Bond had come to throw his hat in the ring.

Making a stop on his five-city announcement tour, Bond told the eager crowd, which included fellow Sen. Jim Talent and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, that he would be running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in November, seeking his fourth term in office.

"The race is on," Bond said. "Missouri and America face challenges unlike any other time in history. This campaign will come down to leadership, experience and getting the job done."

Bond said that among those challenges are preservation of national, personal and economic security for Missouri's families. Family was a central theme to the speech, and it's an issue that Susan Dodd of Cape Girardeau came to see addressed.

"Our families are the cornerstones of our community," Dodd said, standing near the back of the crowded room. A longtime supporter of Bond, Dodd added that she believes in what he's trying to do for families.

One thing Bond said he's trying to do for all Missourians is create and save jobs. Like Gov. Bob Holden and director of economic development Kelvin Simmons before him, the Republican senator emphasized Missouri's role in life sciences.

"Missouri must lead in job creation," said Bond. "We must make Missouri a magnet for the biotech jobs that give our best and brightest students opportunities here at home."

With a troop of veterans flanking the stage, Bond also applauded the efforts of troops overseas. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bond urged the need for America to stand firm against its enemies in the war on terror.

On the homefront, he stressed available medical care for children, working families and veterans. Part of his answer was to stop lawsuit abuse that he said drives health-care costs up and doctors out of the state.

"Just what does it say about Missouri when an expectant mother has to leave the state in order to get the prenatal care she needs?" Bond said.

trehagen@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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