Democrats in Barry County have selected a first-time candidate to made a bid at flipping a seat held by Republicans for more than a decade. On Nov. 5, Lisa Kalp will go up against Republican Scott Cupps in the race for HD 158.
Gov. Mike Parson called the special election for the district after Scott Fitzpatrick resigned to be sworn in as the state treasurer. Fitzpatrick, who was House Budget chair, held the seat since the 2012 election.
“I’m a farmer … I’m a mother … I’m a regular person,” Kalp told The Missouri Times.
A Boston native, Kalp graduated from Boston College and in 2005 moved to Missouri. She has adopted two children, both who have special needs. She has a computer programming business and operates a small farm — raising goats and rescuing horses.
A vegetarian herself, Kalp raises her goats for meat. She noted that she “won’t eat meat but others do.”
The horse rescue operation started after she bought a “skinny” horse and others started to assume she ran a rescue service. People just started dropping them off at her property, and Kalp would come “home and find a horse tied to my tree.”
She credits her father for her work ethic and helping to shape the person she is today. Malcolm Kalp worked for the CIA and was one of the hostages held by Iran in the early 1980s.
Kalp has been “active behind the scenes of politicals for years,” working on campaigns for Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, the Kennedys, and former presidential candidate John Anderson. Now, she said, it is her time to be out in front.
“My father always told me, ‘If you don’t like something, stop complaining about it and do something.’ It is time for me to step up,” Kalp said.
Transportation, services for the most vulnerable, and voting rights are just a few issues Kalp highlighted. She noted the most important aspect for her would be listening to her community and representing the constituents.
“This is a great area … we just need to listen to the people,” said Kalp. “We all have to work together: Democrat, Republican, rural, non-rural.”