INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Democrats have their candidate for the special election of outgoing Rep. Noel Torpey’s seat in the House.
Business consultant and private business owner Rory Rowland, who has called Independence his home for 34 years, was confirmed with the nomination late last week by the 29th Legislative District Democratic Committee.
Rowland added that he was running for office out of a sense of purpose and service.
“Some friends came up and said they’d like to see a good Democrat get things done,” Rowland said. “I’m 57 years old, I’m not going to be a career politician. This is my opportunity to give back… It’s a privilege to be recognized by the committee.”
The president and founder of his own consulting firm, Rowland has spoken in every single one of the lower 48 states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. The University of Central Missouri graduate later earned his MBA at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Rowland constantly cited President Harry S Truman as a man that he admired while speaking with The Missouri Times.
“I’m a huge fan of Harry Truman. I live in Independence, I’ve read every biography there is about him.”
Rowland cited one moment at the outset of World War II when Truman asked Army Chief of Staff George Marshall to be put back into service as a field artillery officer. Rowland admired Truman’s willingness to serve, and now he says he wants to do some part to honor that legacy.
“I’ve been to every state in the union, every state capital, I’ve talked to hundreds – I know what drives Americans,” he said. “We want to leave a life better for our children than we found it. I know it’s common and cliche, but that’s what drives us. I want to leave this earth, this state in a better place than we found it.”
A large part of that ideal will make up his platform, which includes a focus on education and improving the state’s infrastructure, as well as more liberal stances in opposing Right-to-Work legislation and supporting the expansion of Medicaid in the state.
While Torpey had a strong grasp on the district, Rowland says his self-employment will allow him a flexible schedule to campaign in the three months until the election to try to swing voters back to the blue side of the aisle. Rowland added that Torpey served the district well and was well-respected in the Independence community, but the businessman was confident he could win the seat come November.