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ON THE BALLOT: Candidates and Issues

In anticipation of the Nov. 3 General Election, West Newsmagazine asked candidates in contested races to answer the following questions:

1. What are your top priorities if elected?

2. What are your qualifications for holding public office?

The answers of those who responded by deadline are listed below in ballot order. Incumbent candidates are identified with an asterisk. West Newsmagazine has not verified and does not endorse the statements made by the candidates. Unopposed candidates were omitted from West Newsmagazine’s query but are listed below. Party affiliations are noted as Democrat (D), Republican (R), Libertarian (L), Green (G) and Constitution (C). Websites or Facebook pages are listed by name when available. 

Early voting in West St. Louis County
Voters in West County can vote by in-person absentee through Nov. 2 at West County Government Center, 82 Clarkson Wilson Centre in Chesterfield. The Center is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 31. On Nov. 2, the Center will remain open until 5 p.m.

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U.S. District 2

ANN WAGNER* (R) annwagner.com

1. Affordable health care, rebuilding from the pandemic and public safety are three of my top priorities. I am committed to the health and safety of every constituent during this pandemic. I have voted multiple times to protect those with preexisting conditions and have worked to lower prescription drug costs, bolster mental health services and expand telehealth options. I support free coronavirus testing and treatment and providing health insurance premium assistance to those who have lost jobs.

2. I was born and raised in Missouri’s Second District, where I’ve spent my life giving back and investing in this community. I learned about the value of hard work while working at my family’s small business, and representing this district is one of the greatest honors of my life. I have a strong record fighting for Missouri families. I am proud that every one of the bills that I’ve passed into law has been bipartisan.

JILL SCHUPP (D) • jillschupp.com

1. We deserve representation that puts families first – not special interests. We must get the virus under control so we can safely get our kids in school and rebuild our economy. COVID-19 has illuminated many of the flaws within our health care system and one of my top priorities is addressing those issues. Lowering the cost of prescription drugs, defending the Affordable Care Act and ensuring access to affordable health care, including for those with pre-existing conditions, are critical.

2. I am committed to working across the aisle to deliver for Missouri families. From the school board to the state Senate, I’ve earned a reputation as someone who brings people together to get things done. Whether it was ending surprise billing in emergency rooms, or making daycare safer for all of our children, every bill I’ve passed in the Senate has had bipartisan support. I plan to bring that same bipartisan spirit to Congress.

MARTIN SCHULTE (L) • martinvschulte.com

1. My top priorities are to vote against any proposed tax increases, reduce federal spending and assist small businesses to rebound from the pandemic. I will defend all liberties guaranteed to you by the Constitution and work against the continuing battle to usurp those rights. I will endeavor to build equality, life and safety into justice reform, create workable reforms with the current health care options and be accessible to the people of the second district.

2. I have worked in the government for over 25 years and am a veteran of the U.S. Navy. I have lived through the ups and downs of life and know the struggles of trying to succeed. I have a strong sense of service to you, those who desire change in the way we are governed, and want to put the power in your hands rather than relying on the grace of the government.


MIKE PARSON* (R) • mikeparson.com

NICOLE GALLOWAY (D) • nicolegalloway.com

1. I’m running for governor to put Jefferson City back on the side of working families and to act with urgency to protect the people of our state. The most important thing the next governor will have to do is contain the spread of the virus and rebuild Missouri’s economy. One of the best ways to do that is to strengthen our health care system, expand access to health care and get health care costs under control.

2. As Missouri’s auditor, I’ve identified $370 million in government waste and my audits have resulted in 63 criminal counts against corrupt public officials, both Democrats and Republicans. My record is one of demanding accountability, efficiency and transparency at all levels of government. It’s why voters elected me to the position I currently hold and it’s the same approach I’ll bring to the governor’s office, ensuring that every hard-earned dollar you put in is treated with respect.

RIK COMBS (L) • combsformissouri.com

1. My top priorities upon assuming office are to limit the size of government, protect personal property and provide freedom to all Missourians. Slash taxes, cut spending and allow hard-working Missourians the opportunity to achieve their God-given potentials.

2. My qualifications include being a career senior U.S. Air Force officer and commander for leadership and management. I also served three years as a CEO for a consulting firm in Florida (2006-2009). I have the leadership, vision and the ability to get results.

JEROME HOWARD BAUER (G) • Facebook@jeromebauer

Lt. Governor 

MIKE KEHOE* (R) • mikekehoe.com

1. I have the right experience from the private sector to get the job done. My main priorities in the next four years are to provide every child with a world-class education, expand workforce development to help every Missourian learn new job skills so they can realize their potential, cut red tape and eliminate burdensome regulations to attract high-paying jobs to Missouri, and help our small businesses in any way to grow good family-supporting jobs.

2. I have owned multiple businesses and have been deeply involved in my community for over 30 years. I was elected to serve eight years in the Missouri Senate representing the Sixth District which includes seven counties in mid-Missouri. I was then elected by my Senate colleagues to serve as Senate Majority Leader from 2015-2018. I also served on the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission for over four years, including service as chairman.

ALISSIA CANADY (D) • canadyformissouri.com

BILL SLANTZ (L) • billslantz.com

1. I tell people that if they want a smaller government, get on board with us. If you think we need a lieutenant governor, then maybe you don’t want to vote for me. You should know that it is possible to get by without one. The only constitutional duty of the lieutenant governor in Missouri is to vote in case of a tie in the State Senate and to fill in for the governor in case of death or disability.

2. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I am a Libertarian. I believe in a limited government. Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and accept responsibility for the choices they make. The Libertarian way approaches politics based on the principle of self-ownership – no group, government nor individual should be allowed to dictate or direct the life of any other group, government or individual.

KELLEY DRAGOO (G) • Facebook@dragoo4molg

1. My focus is three main platforms: labor rights, public transportation and universal health care. We need to be addressing each of these needs under the umbrella of the climate crisis we are entering. Creating a robust public transit system will create well-benefited jobs for a variety of Missourians. In addition, it will allow us to mobilize quickly, sending medicine, food and supplies when our state experiences worsening natural disasters.

2. I have spent the last 10 years in activism, organizing educational programs and advocacy events with many diverse groups from 350.org to SURJ. In addition, I have been involved in the Kansas City, Heart of America Chapter of the Green Party, serving, at various times, as treasurer, communications and outreach, and co-coordinator. I have the ability to both listen and lead in order to give the people what they are asking for.

Secretary of State 

JOHN R. (JAY) ASHCROFT* (R) • ashcroftformissouri.com

1. My priorities are to continue enhancing the safety and security of our elections while ensuring that every registered voter can vote; continue growing support for our state and public library system, including better broadband support, job training and educational support services; and continue making it easier for individuals to start new businesses and for current companies to grow.

 2. As Missouri’s Secretary of State, I’ve spent years working with local election authorities to ensure the security of and confidence in our elections. This experience in administering elections is critical in an environment of foreign cyber threats and COVID-19. I will continue to use my training as an engineer and attorney to lead nationally on cyber-security issues, bringing other secretaries of state together as we did in 2018 for the National Election Security Summit in St. Louis. 

YINKA FALETI (D) • yinkafaleti.com

1. My top priority will be to protect the right to vote by making our elections safe, secure and accessible. I will fight for no-excuse absentee voting, expanded early voting, automatic voter registration, improved online registration, one-time only registration throughout the state, no matter how many times you move within the state; robust voter education; vote-by-mail without mandating notarization; and more. My second priority will be to protect and strengthen the ballot initiative process in Missouri.

2. As an immigrant American, I earned my right to vote when I gained my citizenship as a teenager. As a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran, I defended our collective right to vote on my two deployments to Kuwait, both before and in response to 9/11. My greatest qualifications for holding a public office is my passion for service and my intimate understanding of the sacredness of the right to vote.

CARL HERMAN FREESE (L) • Facebook@CHF4mo.sos


PAUL VENABLE (C) • youwin.paulvenable.org


SCOTT FITZPATRICK* (R) • scottfitpatrick.com

1. My top priority will be to ensure the state maintains its AAA credit rating and continues to balance its budget and fund its pension obligations. I will also work with the legislature to improve funding to provide educational opportunities for children in failing schools. I’ll also continue to look for opportunities to work cross-departmentally for the benefit of taxpayers, similar to the partnership I created with Department of Social Services to return unclaimed property to families owed child support. 

2. I started a manufacturing and construction company in high school, and grew it while I was at Mizzou. It now employs nearly 70 people and generates millions of dollars in income for Missouri families annually. I became frustrated with government and ran for the Missouri House in 2012. Once elected, I became the budget chairman and, as chairman, I fully funded K-12 Education and delivered a $500 million budget surplus. I have now served as state treasurer for two years. 

VICKI LORENZ ENGLUND (D) • vickienglund.com

1. As Missouri state treasurer, I will target small business and agricultural loans in areas hit hardest by COVID-19; invest in companies that reflect sustainability, inclusion and sound corporate governance; improve financial literacy by increasing access to banking and capital in low-income communities; expand college savings plans to create security for future generations; and secure the homefront and food supply by supporting Missouri family farmers and opposing foreign ownership of farmland.

2. I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C., and have worked for the Clinton Administration’s SBA Office of Women’s Business Ownership. I have worked for the St. Louis County Economic Council and as an Edward Jones leasing coordinator. I have the experience to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 economic crisis. I have served in the Missouri House and on the  Lindbergh school board, and have run an online retail business.

NICHOLAS (NICK) KASOFF (L) • Facebook@nick.kasoff

1. My top priority will be to run the treasurer’s office in a nonpartisan fashion, with an attention to providing quality service. For example, rather than putting unclaimed property online and waiting for people to find it, I will work with the Department of Revenue to find property owners and get their money to them quickly.

2. I am an enrolled agent in tax practice, with decades of experience running and consulting for small businesses. My political philosophy is to reduce spending and environmental impact of the office, while providing the best service possible. As a Libertarian, I’m not part of the political system, so I can ensure honesty from a neutral position.

JOSEPH CIVETTINI (G) • Facebook@civ4motreasurer2020

Attorney General

ERIC SCHMITT* (R) • schmittformissouri.com

1. My commitment to Missourians is continuing to fight violent crime and protecting victims. We created the Safer Streets Initiative, a partnership between my office and federal law enforcement in Missouri to help fight and prosecute violent criminal acts. To date, over 300 charges have been filed. Our SAFE Kit Initiative will help achieve justice for victims by helping eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. We have already sent over 1,300 kits for testing.

2. As the lawyer for 6 million Missourians, my job is to stand on the frontline for freedom and be the last line of defense. I’m guided by a commitment to the rule of law and ensuring everyone is treated equally under the law. I promised to be Missouri’s law-and-order attorney general and am pleased to have the endorsement of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, Missouri State Council of Firefighters and Missouri Police Chiefs Association.

RICH FINNERAN (D)• richfinneran.com

1. My first priority is protecting health care, including coverage for preexisting conditions, by ending Missouri’s involvement in the federal lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Second is criminal justice: I will address the inequities of our system head-on and ensure the law is enforced fairly and equally for all. Third, I’ll take on corruption to make sure the AG’s office benefits the people, not politicians or the well-connected.

2. I’m a former federal prosecutor dedicated to serving justice and protecting the public. From 2010 to 2017, I served as an assistant U.S. attorney in St. Louis, where I aggressively prosecuted some of the most significant cases in the history of the state, including a $435 million prepaid funeral scam and a $50 million investment fraud. I’ve never been afraid to take on the powerful and well-connected when they preyed upon the vulnerable. 


Constitutional Amendment 1

Do you want to amend the Missouri Constitution to extend the two term restriction that currently applies to the Governor and Treasurer to the Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor and the Attorney General? State and local governmental entities estimate no costs or savings from this proposal.

( ) Yes  ( ) No

State Senate – District 15

ANDREW KOENIG* (R) • electandrewkoenig.com

1. If reelected to the state Senate my top priorities would be to ensure our communities are safe by guaranteeing that our local police are never defunded so that they can continue serving our neighborhoods. I will also continue to vote in favor of record funding for K-12 education to provide quality education for our children in the St. Louis area. 

2. As a small business owner, I know what it takes to balance a budget and live within your means.  I am also a dad, who, with my wife, has adopted two children through the foster care system. We know first-hand how difficult it can be to navigate the adoption process and I have sponsored legislation in Jefferson City to reduce the fees and remove the red tape so more kids can find safe, loving homes. 

DEB LAVENDER (D) • lavenderforstatesenate.com

1. Missouri needs a management plan for the COVID-19 crisis so schools and businesses can open safely. Testing and contact tracing have been proven to limit the spread. I plan to implement Medicaid expansion to increase economic activity and provide access to health care for working families without employer sponsored insurance. Missouri is 34th in the nation for dollars spent per pupil for public education. We must decide education is a priority as students prepare for a technologically advanced society. 

2. I am a physical therapist and have served our community as the owner of an outpatient clinic for over two decades. I know first-hand the challenges businesses are facing today because of the COVID-19 economic downturn. Until we are able to safely open, we continue to put our businesses in jeopardy. I currently serve as a state representative and, being on the budget committee, I have a good working knowledge of Missouri’s budget.

State Rep – District 70

JERRY ADZIMA (R) • jerryadzimamo.com

1. My priorities are making sure every Missouri child can get a world-class education, especially in establishing solid fundamentals in Pre-K through fourth grade and promoting STEM curriculum. I am committed to reducing health care costs in innovative ways, especially those that cost little in implementation, but dramatically affect costs, especially for those on fixed-incomes. I will implement frequent, on-going communication with voters and create a new era of transparency and accountability so you know if your REP is working and what issues are being addressed.

2. I’m a 25-year resident of District 70 and a small business owner for over 15 years. Let’s stop playing politics and constant bickering. Coming together, we can probably agree on 70% of the priorities. Let’s charge ahead to get that accomplished and improve the quality of life in District 70. I’m running to ensure our children and grandchildren have a transparent and accountable government, world-class educational opportunities, quality jobs and affordable health care.

PAULA BROWN* (D) • paulabrown.org

State Rep – District 88

KARAN PUJJI (R) • karanpujii.com

TRACY MCCREERY* (D) • tracymccreery.com

1. I ran for office as an independent voice for common sense solutions to our biggest challenges like access to affordable health care, ending taxpayer giveaways to wealthy special interests, guaranteeing great schools that prepare our kids for great jobs, and creating an economy that works for all of us. I’m committed to addressing the challenges facing our state with members of both chambers and both parties.

2. I have been an independent voice on issues of tax fairness, health care, education, agribusiness, equality, infrastructure and public safety, to build an economy that works for all of us, instead of special interests. As a businesswoman, community volunteer and public official I am a strong voice for my district and region.


State Rep – District 89

DEAN PLOCHER* (R) • plocherformissouri.com

1. I am humbled to have represented the people of the 89th District over the past five years. If the citizens trust me to serve them again, I will continue to work to promote jobs and economic growth, eliminate wasteful spending, prevent government overreach, ensure a quality education for all of Missouri’s children, improve access to quality health care while governing in an ethical manner.

2. I am a husband, father, practicing attorney, small business owner, former municipal judge and prosecutor. I believe the life experiences I have, along with the leadership qualities I have displayed in the Missouri House of Representatives, give the citizens of the 89th a distinct voice in Jefferson City. I stood up for the St. Louis region by sponsoring legislation to prevent the statewide vote forcing a merger between St. Louis County and St. Louis City.

LUKE BARBER (D) • Facebook@LTBarber777

1. My priorities are accessibility and inclusion so that those of all backgrounds are able to do the things they need to do to be fully supported to be members of the community; Medicaid expansion; government accountability and transparency. I want the district to know what bills are moving and how those will affect them. I want to end dark money influence and gerrymandering. For too long former politicians, lobbyists and corporations have controlled what gets passed in the legislature.

2. I am an Eagle Scout (Troop 313), a bagger at Schnucks and a self-determination instructor at Easterseals Midwest. As a disability self-advocate, I am very familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. I have a diagnosis of autism and would be able to use my personal experience to shape the implementation of Medicaid expansion as voters approved on Aug. 4, 2020.

State Rep – District 98

SHAMED DOGAN* (R) • shameddogan.com

1. Since I was elected in 2014, I’ve kept my campaign promises and made serious reforms to state government. I’m proud of my record of cutting taxes, reducing regulations, increasing funding for our public schools, improving our infrastructure, providing funding for COVID-19 testing and treatment, and standing up for the constitutional rights of all Missourians. If reelected, I will continue to fight for common sense conservative policies that keep Missouri moving forward.

2. I have been a change agent for several years as both a state representative and a Ballwin alderman. I’ve always found it important to listen to and address my constituents’ concerns about job creation, health care, education, and infrastructure, among other issues. I share the common sense conservative values of the people of the 98th District and it is my honor to help them get results from their government. 

ANGIE SCHAEFER (D) • Facebook@AngieSchaeferMO98

1. Health care, Jobs and Public Safety require immediate attention, but this year has been challenging on many fronts. The Black Lives Matter movement remains strong but how will we effect positive change to put an end to racism? We need statewide, stable and healthy learning environments for students post COVID-19. We need to retain quality teachers, protect work environments and acknowledge the additional time and energy being put into virtual learning plans. There’s a lot to do!

2. As a wife, mom and Gigi, I am committed to the community in which I’ve lived for over 25 years; a community I have supported as a volunteer and in business; a community that has supported me and my family. I am acutely aware of the issues we face, the tensions and issues that divide us and those that bring us all together. My issues are your issues:  health care, jobs, education and so much more.

State Rep – District 99

LEE ANN PITMAN (R) • pitmanformissouri.com

1. My top priority is listening and supporting the people of the district. I believe in creating jobs while protecting small business from burdensome regulation and pursuing accountability in government. Furthermore, I want to pursue a policy of public safety. We need to keep our communities and police officers safe, which means investing in better training. I strive to see improvements in our education system to give all children access to quality education in our region.

2. For over 25 years, I have lived and worked in West St. Louis County. This is my home and I want to improve our community. I am endorsed by the Missouri Fraternal Order of the Police, the St. Louis County Police Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. I have built strong relationships with many of our local industries and businesses that can be brought to the capitol. 

TRISH GUNBY* (D) • trishgunby.com

1. I plan to continue checking in on constituents as we navigate COVID-19 and the economic slowdown, making sure their needs are being met and connecting them to state department liaisons when necessary. I will work to unify our district following this divisive election year and find ways to restore their confidence in a government that should be working for them.

2. I won a special election for this House seat last November and was sworn in January 2020. In that time, I’ve reached out to thousands of residents, held four town halls and communicated through my Capitol Report. Prior to serving, I was an engaged citizen in the district volunteering at Parkway schools, at my church through social justice ministries, and serving on the St. Louis Area Voter Protection Coalition.

State Rep – District 100

DEREK GRIER* (R) • votederekgrier.com

1. My priorities are to defend individual liberty, improve our schools, make health care more affordable, and implement policy to grow our economy to protect opportunity and freedom for all residents. These priorities are essential to our district. As chair of the Economic Development Committee in the House, I am working hard to ease unnecessary requirements that hinder business and workers, enable telehealth solutions, improve health care affordability and access, and expand occupational license recognition.

2. Representing this district is an incredible honor, and my work over the past four years speaks for itself. I have worked hard to fully fund schools, support the rule of law, protect life at every stage, increase employment opportunities, eliminate job killing red tape, invest in job training for all Missourians and eliminate hundreds of millions in tax incentives. We face some great challenges today, and together we must work hard to overcome them. 

HELENA WEBB (D) • helenawebbformo.com

1. As state representative, I will proudly represent the interests and values of District 100 voters. My priorities will be to get our economy on track, increasing opportunity for all; invest in our infrastructure – our roads, bridges and technology – to help attract business and create jobs; make sure Medicaid expansion, as mandated by the people of Missouri, is done effectively and efficiently to create better outcomes for people and health care industry jobs. 

2. My qualifications are that I am an upstanding member of our community; have over 14 years of experience working and solving problems for national and international corporate clients, many in the health care industry; have additional prior experience in the nonprofit and service industries; and am a small business owner. I work hard for my clients and I will work hard for you. I respectfully ask you to vote Webb!

State Rep – District 101


State Rep – District 110

DOTTIE BAILEY* (R) • dottiebailey.com

1. I will continue work on my “seclusion room” bill that will protect Missouri’s most vulnerable students from barbaric seclusion and isolation rooms and cease their misuse in our public schools. At the top of my list is reforming current statutes for the county health department’s emergency powers and stopping the abuses we have witnessed. The process is not currently self-governing and will be changed for all to have a voice.

2. Co-sponsored the pro-life “heartbeat” bill passed in 2019. Successfully fought and stopped St. Louis County’s proposed regressive sales tax from being placed on the ballot in November. Persuaded the Missouri attorney general’s office to open an investigation into St. Louis County’s Sunshine Law violations. I have been trying to seek transparency on COVID-19 data and the use of the CARES Act funds from the federal government for my constituents.

JOHN KIEHNE (D) • johnkiehne.com

1. While my legislative priorities are to improve funding for our public schools, work to create good-paying jobs that pay a living wage and protect workers, and advocate for health care reforms that effect people from every walk of life, we must first address the damage and dysfunction caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We must balance our budget, increase revenues, and support struggling families and businesses. “Let the welfare of the People be the Supreme Law.”

2. I’ve spent the last 35 years running my own business but I’ve also spent the last 13 years as an advocate, provider and guardian for at-risk children and challenged adults. The roadblocks that I’ve encountered in keeping the vulnerable safe and addressing the challenges of trauma victims has led me to work to acquire a platform from which I can effect policy and improve the lives of others.

St. Louis County Executive

PAUL BERRY (R)• berryforstlcounty.com

I want our county government to serve its citizens with competence, compassion and courage. The first two “C”s are easily understandable. The county executive must be willing to make tough decisions not based upon social media criticism or media intimidation, but upon facts, faith and the Constitution. People currently move to St. Louis County only for job relocation or family ties. My vision for our county is to be the economic powerhouse of the Midwest. 

SAM PAGE* (D) • sampage.com

My vision for St. Louis County is likely your vision too: a healthy, equitable and safe place to live, work and raise a family. A place where all are able to succeed, regardless of race, income or zip code. A place that’s led by a government that’s accountable, equitable and responsive. A place that we are all proud to call home. That vision is achievable, and we’ve already begun the hard work to get us there.

(Editor’s note: The county executive race was covered in depth in the Oct. 7 issue of West Newsmagazine. The article “Sam Page vs. Paul Berry III” can be found on westnewsmagazine.com.)

County Council – District 2


1. If elected, my priorities would focus on individuals in government not having unbridled power, and that all life altering situations have full review by the County Council so that people are represented equally. Ensuring public trust, by being transparent, accountable and being morally sound with all issues and people. Also, under ensuring public trust, assure people they can keep their freedom to make choices that make sense for their family. 

2. My qualifications for this position comes from my life skills learned in 57 years on this Earth. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife 31 years ago, at Chapel of the Cross Lutheran Church, where I am an elder today. We have raised three well-adjusted adult children. I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in psychology, which I use every day as a vice president of Steel Micropile Manufacture.

KELLI DUNAWAY* (D) • kdunawayforcouncil.com

1. We are in the middle of a historic pandemic that has caused so many people to lose jobs and wages. Right now we need to prioritize public health, humanitarian needs and economic rescue from the pandemic. Ensuring the funding is spent equitably and responsibly is part of my role as the chairwoman for the Oversight Committee, and I take that role very seriously.

2. I’m a hard worker, straight shooter and professional problem solver. I don’t practice law. Instead, I spend my days finding problems and creating ways to fix them, coach employees through challenging times and help them set and achieve goals. My job requires a lot of teamwork, collaboration, strong leadership and vision. We need those skills in government.


1. If elected, my top priorities would be to reduce the size of county government, cut expenses and privatize county functions.

2. Except for attending college out of state for four years, I have lived my entire life as a citizen of St. Louis County.

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