Having been involved in local Missouri politics for some time, Eddy Justice is officially throwing his hat in the ring for an open state Senate seat.
Justice, a State Farm insurance agent, has launched his candidacy to represent the 25th district. Sen. Doug Libla, also a Republican, is term-limited, leaving the seat open in 2020.
If elected, Justice said he plans to be a “citizen legislator” who wouldn’t “make a career out of it.” He’s adamant about pro-life issues and gun rights and is a proponent of President Donald Trump’s platform, particularly when it comes to agriculture issues.
“I believe in the Republican policies … but at the same time, I’m an independent thinker that wants what’s best for the constituents of this district,” Justice told The Missouri Times. “I think government should run like a business instead of a bureaucracy.”
Justice said he doesn’t have “many complaints” about how Libla has represented the district over the past few years. However, as Libla champions legislation gradually increasing the state’s fuel tax to fund infrastructure needs, Justice maintains there are other ways to find the funds without increasing taxes.
“I think the voters of Missouri made their opinion very clear in the last election with [Proposition D], but there are a lot of options we can find in order to get this infrastructure update done,” he said. “It’s absolutely necessary, but we have to find the funding source for it. I think there are more ways of doing that without necessarily increasing taxes.”
Justice is also frustrated with those in the midst of fighting for education reform in Missouri. He lambasted “the parties involved” for digging into their positions and being unwilling to compromise.
“We made a promise to the children of Missouri to give them a quality product in our education [system], and yet we’re not willing to look at what our options are,” Justice, who had three children attend Missouri public schools, said. “I think it’s time to put all options on the table, bring all parties to the table, and find unique and different methods of improving the product we’re giving to our children.”
“We have a lot of really quality, good schools in Missouri, but we also have schools that are failing, and I think it’s important that we bring everybody to the table, and if everybody would act in an objective manner, I think we can come up with a system that would increase accountability, increase our results and also take care of our teachers,” he added.
Justice currently serves as treasurer for the House Republican Campaign Committee
Justice was one of five people former Gov. Eric Greitens appointed to the Missouri State Board of Education last year in an attempt to oust the state’s education commissioner, Margie Vandeven. The Missouri state Senate held up the appointments, including Justice’s.
Republican state Sen. Gary Romine — a close colleague with Libla — remained steadfast against the previous governor’s appointments. Libla declined to comment on Justice’s campaign announcement Monday, telling The Missouri Times it would be “inappropriate” at this time given Justice will “most likely” face a primary challenger.
Aside from infrastructure, Justice said those in Missouri’s government should be focused on bettering the state’s economic environment to increase business, the rising cost of Medicare, and advocating for alternative energy like biodiesel, especially as southeast Missouri produces a “huge amount” of soybeans.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in March 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.