(St. Joseph,MO) Political newcomer Henry Martin is working to unseat incumbent Republican Sam Graves in representing Missouri’s sixth congressional district.
"The working class and the middle class are losing right now. They need moderate voices that will help to bring us back to some assemblance of normal.I am that voice," Martin said. "I will make a better representative, because I'm willing to take all issues into account, not just ones that I'm comfortable with."
The Democratic candidate is a former educator and army veteran. Martin said tax cut packages approved by the Trump administration could hurt social services like medicare and social security.
"Right now opportunity is being whittled away, little by little,” Martin said."Every time we see a tax cut, they are talking about cutting services."
Martin said he wants to work to help increase the federal minimum wage.
"We are vilifying people who are actually victims of a system that has been exploiting their labor. We are paying minimum wage and minimum wage is not enough to live," Martin said.
Republican Sam Graves has been in office for 17 and said he’s not convinced Martin has the support of rural Missouri.
"I am a farmer and it's very hard for someone that's coming out of the big city with those big city values, they want to come out and they want to represent the rural areas and it simply is not going to happen," Graves said.
Graves said he has built his campaign around defending the conservative values of Missourians.
"I've always represented the district and I've represented the district values. Those things are important to us; those things come under fire every single day from the progressive left," Graves said.
The representative also said he wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"What's interesting is you've got folks on the left that continue to complain about high premiums, the cost of healthcare and we are under their healthcare system. Obamacare has been a fundamental disaster," Graves said.
Graves would like to free up the option for people to cross state lines in search of more affordable health insurance policies, based on their individual needs.
“We need to go to a system that basically allows people to be able to group together in large groups, be able to cross state lines and be able to do that,” Graves said. “Then be able to fight for and negotiate for much better rates to make sure we keep those individuals with preexisting conditions in the system and you can do that with large numbers that are able to go out and negotiate those better deals.”
Martin said shopping for health insurance across state lines won’t help Missourians.
“The solutions being proposed by the republican congress will affect cost,” Martin said. “The reason why it’s more expensive from one state to another is because each state regulates their insurance commission on their own.”
Graves said he also wants to crack down on immigration policy.
"We need to enforce the laws that we have. Illegal immigration is just that, it's illegal and people who come here illegally are here illegally and we need to enforce the laws that are on the books," Graves said.
Martin has been endorsed by United Auto Workers, The American Federation of Teachers local 691, the Service Employees International Union Intelligent Democracy, and is a Moms Demand Action gun sense candidate.
Graves has been endorsed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Hospital Association and the National Federation of Independent Business.
Graves and Martin will square-off during the general election on November 6.
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