KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Sean Fauss, a Democrat from Arnold, Mo., announced Sunday that he intends to run for the House of Representatives in District 113 next year.
Fauss’ Arnold hometown is among the cities within the district that currently is represented by Democrat Jeff Roorda, who is running for the Senate in 2014.
For Fauss, he said his believe in meritocracy was a motivator for him to run as it’s something he is a big believer in.
“I think we’re losing a lot of that here in Missouri, especially based on legislation we’ve seen out of Jefferson City.”
When the region’s Chrysler plants were closed in 2008, Fauss said the lives of the people in the surrounding area who worked there subsequently fell apart. Because of that, he said many local residents have had to fill the income void by taking lower wage jobs, which Fauss said “isn’t a substitute” for what they had before.
It’s those views that tie into two of the main issues he stresses his support in as he prepares to get his campaign going: the establishment of a port in Jefferson County and Medicaid expansion.
The port issue is one that some in Jefferson County have advocated for during the last several years, and he said he would want to help continue that effort with the hope to “bring back the blue collar job so people don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck.”
“That’s what really drove me to get into politics to begin with: we have a lot of blue-collar community people here that need some help,” he said.
On the Medicaid front, Fauss said he doesn’t so much see expansion as a partisan issue, but rather as “the best thing for Missouri.” He added that research he reads in his down time shows that what expansion could do for Missouri reaches further than insuring those who might need it. Additionally, he said it could bring up to 24,000 jobs and a small stimulus.
But for him personally, he has concerns about the fate of a major hospital in the area: St. Anthony’s. Hospitals that aren’t involved in major companies like Barnes Jewish are more liable to face issues if expansion doesn’t happen, he said, which is a concern.
Hyper partisanship is an issue Fauss said he expects to face now and as the race progresses, especially on the Medicaid expansion issue.
Additionally, Fauss said he worked for the then-House Democratic Campaign Committee during the 2012 elections, getting a foot in the door on how the process works. And since he made plans to run, Fauss said he’s talked with HDVC Executive Director Jordan Overstreet and has “already received support.”*
However, Fauss’ contact with the sitting representative, Roorda, has been brief, he said.
“I made Jeff aware, but I haven’t asked him for an endorsement yet because I know he has a lot going on with the Senate race,” he said.
Roorda told The Missouri Times Monday that there are several candidates so far that have expressed interest in his seat.
“My goal is to find the best one and to have a consensus candidate in order to avoid any primaries,” he said. “This is an important seat and I feel a great amount of loyalty to the people of my district and want them to have the best candidate.”
A life-long resident of Arnold, Mo., Fauss, 24, is a substitute teacher for the Fox School District focusing on social sciences. He also is a committeeman for the city of Arnold, according to the release his campaign sent out Sunday.
“Other than [work], I watch the news pretty frequently, listen to KMOX or NPR, and even 97.1 sometimes,” he said. “I love to read the news too.”
Fauss said he has been with his girlfriend for two years, meeting her years prior during a campaign for Gov. Jay Nixon.
Fauss is the first Democrat, though second candidate to announce interest in filling the vacancies. The other announced candidate is Republican Bob Boyer, who voiced his intentions in late July.
* Update: Overstreet clarified that no endorsement has been made, but he did speak with Fauss to discuss his intentions.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.