Republican Cloria Brown is locked into a tight race. Brown is hoping to once again unseat Democratic incumbent Vicki Englund. Both of these candidates have represented the district in Jefferson City, and this race will be close. As part of our ongoing election coverage, The Missouri Times asked Cloria Brown 10 Questions.
The Missouri Times: You’re in an extremely close race. Does a race this close come down to raising/spending more than your opponent?
No, money isn’t the only determinant. Getting your name out happens in other ways than through mailings. What is most important is how much time you spend talking with the voters in the district and how they feel about you.
TMT: What makes you the most qualified candidate to represent your district in the House?
The priorities of the voters of the 94th are the same as mine: fixing our economy, supporting our schools and protecting our tax dollars. Experience has taught me to not promise things over which I have limited control. As I knock doors, I hear comments like, “I’m voting for you because you are “real” or I’m voting for you because you’re honest.” I only make three promises to the voters, that I will work hard, that I will vote for what I think is best for the people of our area and that I will be accessible to the people of the 94th.
TMT: You’ve knocked a lot of doors. What’s the issue you’re hearing about most from the voters?
The issue I hear most about from the voters is their fear of the uncertainty of the future. The seniors are concerned about their children’s and grand children’s future. The small business owners are concerned with the rising costs of healthcare and what it is going to mean to their businesses. Employees are worried about their job future and whether or not they will have money for their children’s college education.
TMT: Where are the areas you and your opponent disagree that you think the voters should know about?
One area where we disagree is the Life issue. I am 100% Pro Life, endorsed by the Missouri Right to Life and in 2011-2012 legislative session, I voted Pro Life. The Missouri Right to Life designates my opponent as Anti Life and gave her an 18% rating on votes on life legislation.
Another area is taxes. I believe that government should be like our families and carefully budget and cut back to make ends meet during tough times. My opponent is more apt to vote to raise taxes.
TMT: What can we expect from your campaign between now and Election Day?
I will continue to contact the voters daily by knocking doors, making phone calls and making myself accessible to them. Of course we will also put out mailings.
TMT: What’s the first piece of legislation you plan to file if you’re elected?
There are many areas that need to be addressed: our children in failing schools, funding for the Veterans homes, etc. Like they say in baseball, I’m focusing on the election and after I win, I’ll focus on filing legislation.
TMT: How will you make a unique impact as just one member of a large caucus?
The members of my caucus respect my analytical thinking, my experience, my work ethic and realize that I work well with others. I have the trust of my caucus. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.
TMT: What are some areas of public policy that you believe have a bipartisan consensus?
In my 2011-2012 legislative experience on the Veterans Committee I saw that the area of supporting our veterans usually had bipartisan consensus. I hope that there is a bipartisan consensus in the area of rapid, respectful response by Missouri departments to the people of Missouri. Too often the areas under the Family Support Division are not as responsive to the people needing help as they are to elected officials. This is wrong.
TMT: What is different in this year’s campaign from campaigns you’ve been involved in the past?
There is not much difference between this campaign and past campaigns, except more money is being spent. Each cycle, I gain experience in the campaign process.
TMT: What’s the single most important legislative issue you think you’ll have to deal with in the coming year?
Quality education for children in failing schools.
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.