JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Dating back to 2008, the race to represent voters in Missouri’s 94th House District has been Vicki Englund versus Cloria Brown. Englund came out ahead in 2008 and 2012. Brown came out ahead in 2010, 2014, and 2016.
This year is different. Englund is not running and Brown passed away on March 18, 2018, from cancer. Those circumstances have provided the opportunity for Republicans Jim Murphy and Ron Rammaha and Democrat Jean Pretto to seek the south St. Louis County seat.
Whichever Republican candidate wins the primary on August 7, 2018, will face off with Pretto in November.
The 94th district is considered competitive each election cycle. In 2016, Brown said, “my constituents are 50/50, so if it’s a good bill I’ll vote for it, and if it’s a bad bill I won’t.”
While in the legislature, Brown fought to combat sex trafficking, introduced a measure to ban texting while driving, and supported a statewide prescription drug monitoring program.
A bill first introduced by Brown in 2015 mandating that certain businesses display posters with the phone number to a national human trafficking hotline passed the General Assembly in 2018. It was signed into law by then-Gov. Eric Greitens on March 1, 2018.
The two Republican candidates vying to step into the late Representative’s shoes are both possess fairly similar views in protecting life, defending the Second Amendment, and support law enforcement. They also want to advocate for quality education and create jobs.
Before she passed, Brown endorsed Murphy to succeed her.
Murphy has been a businessman for more than 40 years, first for The Singer Company, then as owner of Shoppers Rule, Inc., an embroidery and sewing supply company located in Arnold, Missouri, with an international customer base.
“When Cloria Brown endorsed me, she challenged me to work as hard as she had for the citizens of the 94th. Every day I endeavor to meet that challenge,” said Murphy.
As the primary draws near, Murphy has been knocking on doors, delivering literature, and plans to “continue to work until the final vote is counted.” He said that when talking to voters they have expressed a wide variety of concerns including school security, taxes, and the devastating effect internet sales have had on our retail centers.
“Voters feel that the system is broken and that nothing is getting done in Washington. They are being inundated with news of scandal and have never paid attention to the real results that were accomplished by our state legislature,” said Murphy. “When I go through the list of legislation that was passed this year they are greatly surprised and encouraged.”
The message of Murphy’s campaign is “Working for a brighter future!” Murphy said that as state Representative he would put the concerns and needs of the citizens of the 94th first.
“I’m so encouraged by the warm reception I have received by the voters and the hundreds and hundreds of voters that requested yard signs to urge support for my candidacy,” said Murphy. “They have strengthened my desire to serve as their State Representative.”
Businessman Ron Rommaha
Voters have shared their biggest concern with Rammaha: Job creation. And as an individual who has owned his own business for more than two decades, he feels he has unique knowledge of what it takes to solve the problem.
“Our region has a great workforce and tremendous resources, and our economy should be thriving. As a businessman, I know what it takes to create jobs, and I know that getting government regulations out of the way is of vital importance,” said Rammaha.
Being a leader on free-market reforms that will help grow the economy is only one of his priorities, Rammaha also wants to be a strong voice for this district’s values and a fervent defender of the Constitution.
“My business experience and dedication to the community – which I have demonstrated through involvement in a number of civic organizations – gives me the experience and qualifications necessary to serve this district effectively,” he said.
As the primary election gets closer, Rammaha’s strategy hasn’t changed. He’s going to civic events, knocking doors, making calls, working with his grassroots base to get voters to the polls, and getting his “pro-jobs, pro-Constitution message out to the voters in the 94th.”
“I have been getting a great response from voters who share my belief that we need a reliable voice for our values with the business experience necessary to know what our state needs to keep our economy growing,” said Rammaha.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.