Hulshof pledges economic growth at Cape campaign tour stop

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., talks to reporters in his office in this Sept. 8, 2006 file photo, in Columbia, Mo. The congressman from Missouri's 9th District announced his candidacy for governor of the state Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, the third Republican to jump into the race following Gov. Matt Blunt's recent surprise exit. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, file)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof pledged today to create a more business-friendly climate in Missouri if elected to the state's highest office.

Speaking to about a dozen supporters and local media at JCS/TEL-Link in Cape Girardeau, Hulshof said such a climate is necessary to attract quality employers to Missouri. Hulshof's speech at the telephone wireless company at 1606 N. Kingshighway was the 18th stop on his 10-day tour to gain voters' trust on economic issues throughout the state.

"This whole tour has been about taking the pulse of all types of businesses," Hulshof said. "We have to have a vibrant, business-friendly environment to grow here."

Local area unemployment statistics show that the state has lost 32,000 jobs in the past 12 months. Additionally, a report released today by the Alliance for American Manufacturing showed that between 2001 and 2007, Missouri has lost 45,400 jobs to China.

Hulshof said the state has the ability to compete with other countries, but businesses must find ways to reinvent themselves. Otherwise, Missouri may lose out on coveted jobs.

On the issue of megaprojects — costly initiatives that attract a great amount of public attention because of substantial impacts on communities — Hulshof said they are necessary to attract major industry to the state. He pointed to the state's $240 million tax credit program to lure the Canadian-based Bombardier aircraft factory to Kansas City, Mo. Even though the company chose to build its factory in a suburb of Montreal, Canada, Hulshof said the effort painted the state in a positive light and may result in spinoff jobs in north Kansas City. While Hulshof would not elaborate on what those jobs could be, he said an announcement would come from the governor within a few months.

Hulshof said that Missouri has a bright economic future because of its people's work ethic.

"Missourians' work ethic is second to none," he said. "You can't replicate it.

"They want to work," he continued. "They care about their job and the products that are going out the door."

bblackwell@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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