JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Representative Nate Belt Walker announced he will run for state Senate District 18 to replace Sen. Brian Munzlinger who faces term limits.
Walker gained attention in October when he suggested reviewing how Missouri contributes to NFL teams. A vocal dissident to players protesting the national anthem, he suggested that the protests have led to a decline in NFL viewership and by threatening to remove state funds, players will stop protesting and make football popular again.
At the time he called it, protecting Missouri’s “investment,” telling a reporter, “If we’re going to make investments in whatever it is, we need to make sure that investment bears a result.”
“Big city special interests, wealthy developers, and billionaire NFL owners are lining their pockets with our hard-earned tax dollars. Enough is enough,” Walker said in a press release, announcing his senate candidacy. “Tax dollars belong in our schools, our roads, and our communities—not in empty football stadiums. I will fight to make sure they don’t end up there.”
One of the biggest issues he cares is to make sure that the government is accountable for the tax dollars it collects and how it spends that money. He plans on announcing legislation to audit government programs and check its expenses.
“It is time government was held accountable. I plan to start by introducing legislation that would shine the light on waste and require a mandatory review of every state program every five years,” he said. “Bureaucrats would have to account for its expenses and show whether it is operating efficiently and effectively, providing a service worth taxpayer funding.”
Walker has worked both in the public and private sectors. He was first elected to the House in 1978, left in 1984 to run for Lt. Governor, and came back in 2012, where he now faces term limits. In the private sector, he previously owned and published The La Plata Home Press, a weekly newspaper founded in 1880, and was the chairman of the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee.
Walker attributes his hard work ethic to his family and his time on their farm. There he was able to make enough money and graduate with an agriculture journalism degree from the University of Missouri. Grandparents were longtime farmers as well: one of his grandfathers managed a coop, while the other was a raw fur dealer and grain elevator owner.
“I was raised in a community where hard work was not just a value, but a necessity. The average person now must work over 100 days just to pay their annual tax bill, and that is just wrong,” he said. “Our personal liberties are at the forefront of what I will fight for in the State Senate. I am beholden to no special interests and I owe my candidacy to nobody but the great people of Northeast Missouri. I will always fight for our God-given Rights, including the Right to Life and the Second Amendment.”
Michael Layer is a reporter for the Missouri Times and the Missouri Times Magazine. He joined the Missouri Times in August 2017 after graduating from Goucher College the previous May. To contact Michael, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @_MichaelLayer