Missouri House, 159th District -- Billy Pat Wright

Sunday, November 2, 2008
Billy Pat Wright

Name: Billy Pat Wright

Party: Republican

Birth: March 17, 1937, Rector, Ark.

Spouse, children: Linda Wright; Elaine, 41, Leah, 39, Laura, 37

Occupation: State representative, 159th District

Employer: State of Missouri

Businesses owned by candidate or spouse, all or in part: Past owner of a cattle farm; past owner of Century 21 real estate office in Dexter, Mo.

Public offices held: State representative, 159th District, 2005 to 2008

Past political campaigns and offices sought: State representative, 159th District in 2004 and 2006

Question 1: What is the most important issue facing the 159th District?

Answer: Health care, jobs, education funding, protect the family farms (by eliminating the death tax), continue to enforce tough eminent domain laws, caring for our veterans, senior citizens and protecting our children from drugs (such as methamphetamine) and child predators.

Question 2: What in your background or education makes you qualified for this office?

Answer: I have resided in Southeast Missouri for more than 50 years, owned a small business, operate a cattle ranch and I grew up on a farm, enjoyed a 39 year career with AT&T, served as legislative chairman for over 20 years, working with legislators in Jefferson City. I have served as a state representative for the 159th District for four years. My experience in business, agriculture and the Missouri Legislature give me the skills to effectively represent 159th District.

Question 3: Why are you better qualified than your opponent?

Answer: My broad knowledge and experience in agriculture, business and working with the legislature in Jefferson City as a legislative chairman and State Representative give me more than 20 years of current service to our District.

Question 4: In 2005, lawmakers voted to restrict eligibility for Medicaid as a cost-cutting measure, resulting in 100,000 removed from the Medicaid rolls. The state currently has a surplus. Should eligibility be restored to its previous level or any other steps taken to expand health coverage to more Missourians?

Answer: Eligibility can be increased by reducing the spend down amount. This would make it more affordable for the participant and increase coverage for many Missourians. A wellness program has been introduced that would reward those that participate in a program to promote healthier lifestyles and nutritional diets, thereby reducing the cost of health care. Insure Missouri, a new program, is expected to be reintroduced in 2009 to further provide health care for Missourians.

Question 5: Do you support using state resources to allow parents to choose to send their child to any school, public or private?

Answer: No, our tax dollars support public schools so students and parents can have an affordable education. School choice in many areas could be detrimental to some of our public schools.

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