JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – It seems that incumbent state representative Dan Stacy will have a challenger looking to claim his seat in the November 2018 election.
Travis Hagewood announced he will be running for the District 31 seat next fall and is already taking steps to put out Stacy on the defensive, who claimed the seat in 2016 by knocking out former incumbent Rep. Sheila Solon.
The Democratic challenger has little experience in politics but was inspired to run after many of the anti-union policies enacted in 2017. Previously, he worked as a realtor for nearly six years, and currently works for Ford Motor Company.
Hagewood says he wanted to run because he feels there is a disconnect between Republican lawmakers and their constituents. Specifically, he sees the passage of right-to-work, HCB 3, and withheld funds for the A+ school program as evidence of that.
“What are we [the state of Missouri] doing?” Hagewood asked. “We’re attacking people who can’t defend themselves – [like] the elderly, we’re not helping kids get into college – what are we doing? Instead of griping about it, I decided to throw my name in there and see what happens.”
He hopes to run his campaign around representing people who cannot defend themselves and helping the middle class. One of the ways that he wants to do that is by making Missouri more business friendly so that the middle class can have more, better-paying jobs. While he mentions that right-to-work entices businesses to come to the state, he thinks it also allows businesses to keep wages low.
Hagewood has a connection with Missouri unions. He’s been meeting with smaller unions in Missouri and hopes to get an endorsement from AFL-CIO. In addition to being opposed to right-to-work, one of his biggest policy goals is to expand the A+ school program to four-year universities and trade schools.
The race is expected to be competitive but leans in Stacy’s favor. Despite that, Hagewood is confident that he will beat incumbent Dan Stacy, who has advocated for right-to-work since he arrived. According to the Missouri Times tip sheet, as of August, Stacy has made $548 in contributions this election and has $64.27 in cash on hand. Hagewood is estimated to have received around $300.
One of the biggest reasons Hagewood wants to run is because he feels that Missouri lawmakers do not represent the opinions of their constituents. He thinks special interest groups are swaying their votes and introducing bills that go against Missourians’ interests. Should he be elected, he says he wants to increase transparency by releasing every piece of legislation and surveying public opinion.
“They don’t our best interests at heart… If there’s a new law that I’m going to be working on when I get in [the House] because I will win… I’m going to put it out there for everybody to see first. I’d like to survey everybody… I’d like to get to know what the people- what they feel about it,” he said.