PLACE OF BIRTH: Cape Girardeau, MO
James, Andrew, Adam, sons
Patrick & Peyton, grandsons
East Prairie High School, 1967
Southeast Missouri State University, 1971, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
University of Missouri, Columbia, 1972, Master of Business Administration
State Representative, District 161
EMPLOYER: State of Missouri
Owned and operated IGA supermarket in East Prairie with father from 1962 to 2005
State Representative #161, 2007 through 2012
East Prairie School Board, 12 years, president (twice)
I believe that education and job training are the vehicles to relieve the pressures of poverty and unemployment in district 149. Manufacturing, such as the shoe and clothing business, has left many towns without jobs and revenue in the Bootheel. This has had a negative effect on Main Street businesses in our area. Agri-business/farming jobs have been reduced. There are jobs available through proper training. New training programs from schools and community colleges are helpful.
We continue to balance the budget by striving for increased efficiency in every state department. We do not wish to reduce services, and improved operational procedures can assist with that. When I was in business, I continually looked to cut costs while maintaining a high quality of product and service for my customers. I do not favor raising taxes for Missourians. A more healthy economy will provide the needed revenue to relieve our economic problems.
I support full funding of our foundation formula distributed by the state for public education. While I appreciate the direction and support given for elementary and secondary schools and higher education, I oppose mandated standardized testing. I feel this works against creative teaching by the people who know what their students need most. I feel that policies and directions for the district should be generated at the local level by the people who best know.
Every district of our state has common issues and unique problems. Almost all of my adult life has been spent living, working, and rearing our family in Southeast Missouri. I have been in almost every Bootheel school through 42 years of sports officiating. I have spent my six years as state representative visiting my people and listening to them. Finally, I have gained the reputation of responding to my constituents and working with other legislators.