(St. Joseph,MO) Two fresh faces are looking to represent Missouri’s 10th district. Republican Bill Falkner and Democrat Shane Thompson will face off in the general election on November 6.
For eight years Falkner served as mayor of St. Joseph and said his experience solving community problems would be a huge help in dealing with problems in Jefferson City.
"As a representative of this community you have to be an advocate, you have to fight for them everyday to bring things in,” Falkner said."I have that experience dealing with individuals and also bringing groups together to attack a problem that we had."
Falkner is a small business owner and wants to work to support small business, expand workforce development and tackle crime by securing additional funding and resources for local law enforcement.
"As elected officials going to Jefferson City, what you want to try to do is give the tools that our local police departments, sheriff's department need to do the job efficiently and safely,"Falkner said.
After holding a local office, Falkner said he wants insure the concerns of people in St. Joseph are heard in Jefferson City.
"I'm very big on local control. I believe the citizens here in St. Joseph should be able to voice their opinion on something that is going to happen here instead of somebody in St. Louis telling us what's going to happen here," Falkner said.
Thompson has been working for St. Joseph Ag Processing for the last 25 years and has served as a leader for the Teamster Labor Union local 955 for over 20 years.
"I'm a big labor guy, I support the middle working class families,” Thompson said."I've been out working, knocking doors. I've talked to 85 percent of my own constituents."
Thompson said he’s been knocking on doors and talking to people about issues that hit close to home.
"I did have a brother pass away from an addiction last year, so that's one thing I want to fix. I think we need stricter prescription laws on opioids,"Thompson said.
Thompson said he’s also concerned about dark money groups buying off the votes of elected officials and wants to establish regular town halls to address issues with his constituents.
“They are selling that vote for a one time fee of $30,000. For that $30,000 they get in their pocket, your friends, your family, your neighbors, they aren’t benefiting from that. If you would not get that one time fee, that vote would help out a lot more people and it would be forever,” Thompson said.
Thompson said he wants to restructure laws on opioids and trim down government spending.
"We don't need to raise taxes every time we need money. We can solve problems and get money from other issues that we are throwing money at. We could solve those problems and save that money. Missouri is not a poor state. St. Joe is not a poor town. We are throwing money away because of neglect in dealing with the issues."
Falkner has been endorsed by Right to Life, and the Fraternal Order of Police. Thompson has been endorsed by the Teamster Union, the Carpenters Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers