This is part one in a two part series on the race for the 47th House District. The second part will be published Monday and will focus on Rep. Chuck Bayse.
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, had a relatively quiet freshman term serving as the 47th House District’s representative, but he will have a race on his hands come November.
Susan McClintic, a retired teacher of the Columbia Public School District, is a well-funded and well-connected challenger and one of few in the state that has a solid chance at ousting an incumbent. The Missouri Times 2016 House Tip Sheet has the race listed as a toss up.
With nearly three decades of teaching experience, McClintic has served in middle and elementary schools in Columbia. She believes her experience as a teacher have helped her understand the variety of people that live and work in Mid-Missouri.
“I’ve spent 28 years working with a variety of different socioeconomic groups,” she said. “I think the diversity in my career has allowed me to see a lot of different things.”
She also served in leadership positions that many teachers do not undertake. McClintic was the president of the Columbia Missouri National Educators Association (CMNEA). In 2010, she was elected by teachers across the state to fulfill two terms as a trustee of the Public School Retirement System where she helped oversee and set policy for the state’s $40 billion dollar retirement program for state teachers and other school employees.
McClintic says those positions give her insight into the nuances of education at a macroscopic level and how to manage the system as a whole.
On top of all of those responsibilities, McClintic has also formerly served as a secretary on the Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Board and as president of the Friends of Rocheport, a group dedicated to increasing tourism in the town and promoting its local history. Needless to say, she has put a lot on her plate in terms of community involvement.
Now, her sights are set on public office. To do that, she’ll need to cultivate some of those deep ties she has to the area and its active citizens. So far, it looks like she is doing just that. She has out-raised Basye, garnering more than $54,000 in donations as of April compared to Basye’s $28,000.
Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, has been a friend of McClintic’s since before she considered a run for office. He says that her advantage in fundraising comes from her strong work ethic.
“As long as I’ve known her she’s been one of the hardest working individuals that I’ve come across,” Kendrick said. “She has a wealth of experience that is very relevant for what is important for all Missourians and really what the focus should be in Jefferson City.”
If McClintic had the opportunity to set policy, education would naturally be a priority for the longtime educator. She wants to see a fully funded Foundation Formula, instead of a redefinition of what it means to fully fund it. Public education, she says, must be a priority as both an economic driver that can attract young families and improve the standard of living for the hundreds of thousands of Missourians that work in the state’s public schools, but also as an equalizer that can guarantee opportunity for people. McClintic has concerns that Missouri is going the way of Kansas when it comes to funding for schools. Kansas has reported budget shortfalls that has strained school funding in the state.
“I don’t want us to be in a race to the bottom with Kansas, and that’s the writing that we see on the wall,” McClintic said. “That is terrifying to think that’s what we would do to our children and the 240,000 Missourians that have worked or retired from teaching.”