The race to become the next Speaker Pro Tem in the Missouri House of Representatives features three strong contenders in Reps. Jason Chipman, Glen Kolkmeyer, and John Wiemann. We spoke with each representative about a number of issues to get their thoughts on where Missouri goes next, the issues they foresee, and why they want to serve as the Pro Tem.
Here are the answers from Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer.
MT: What motivated you to run for Speaker Pro Tem?
GK: I was probably going to stay at Majority Caucus Chair for another General Assembly; however, I’ve had numerous caucus members encouraging me to run for Speaker Pro Tem.
MT: What would you seek to do in the role?
GK: I will continue to help the Governor, Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate move the conservative agenda forward in Missouri, Tax Reform, Labor Reform, Tort Reform, and Regulation Reform.
MT: How has your experience in the House equipped you for such an important leadership role?
GK: As past Vice-Chair of Transportation, past Chair of House Transportation Committee, and current Majority Caucus Chair, with a seat at the House leadership table, I have worked with almost every caucus member in the House. I have worked with both the 2014 and 2016 freshman classes during New Legislator orientation/tour and helped both classes get settled in the Capitol.
MT: What do you see as the primary purpose of the pro tem office and how would you achieve that?
GK: To assist the Speaker of the House with their duties and preside over the House Chamber at the dais in the Speakers absence. As I have done this past session, continue to make myself available to the entire Caucus.
MT: What sets you apart from the other candidates for the position?
GK: As a business owner I have the business experience needed to run an organization. Also, after spending 20 years as a Fire Chief of a Fire Protection District and 35 plus years in the fire service, I am a fast thinker and make common sense decisions that affect the whole team.
MT: What priorities would you like the see the legislature tackle in 2018?
GK: I will continue on the same conservative agenda we have begun. To get Missouri turned around economically so companies will want to come to Missouri and grow their businesses so there are more jobs available in all regions of our great State.
MT: What moment are you most proud of as a legislator?
GK: First, on January 4th, when I was on the dais and presided over the House when the 99th General Assembly elected Todd Richardson the Speaker of the House. Second, three years ago, when my wife, Lisa and my sister, Anita brought my parents Omer and Dorothy Kolkmeyer to the Capitol to see where I have the opportunity to serve the people of the 53rd District. I’m glad they were able to visit the Capitol as they have both passed away since that time.
MT: What advice would you give to an incoming freshman representative?
GK: I would give them the same advice as my speech the first day of this session; it was about “relationships”. You as an individual can get very little accomplished in the Capitol without first building relationships with the Caucus.
MT: How does the House maintain unity in its supermajority?
GK: By first building those relationships I spoke about, by working together and keeping an open line of communication with the entire caucus.
MT: What do you see as the biggest challenge of serving in leadership in a supermajority?
GK: Our biggest challenge is working together as a team. Trying to keep us from becoming like Kansas, where the Republicans have become two parties, the conservatives, and the moderates.
We also asked each representative to take part in a “rapid fire” round of questioning.
- Favorite chain restaurant? Fogo de Chao, Brazilian Steakhouse, since my wife, Lisa grew up in Brazil.
- Favorite Jefferson City hangout: Wherever my friends/Caucus members are.
- Favorite TV show: Survivor
- Favorite food to BBQ: Ribs
- Favorite animal at the zoo: Elephant