1. What was your first campaign experience?
This would have been as a young child campaigning for my Uncle Ronald M. Belt in my Mother’s arms at what they used to call “pie suppers” in North Missouri. Campaigning was a family affair. My Uncle served in the House during the late 1950s until the early 1970s when he left the General Assembly to become a Circuit Court Judge.
2. In what ways have you made a tangible effect on your constituents’ lives during the past legislative session?
I have tried to represent all the constituents of the 3rd District in a fair, equal and conscientious way. I have an “open door” policy at my State Capitol office. I personally read all of my letters, e-mails and other correspondence, as well as listen to all of my constituents concerns and input before making any final decision on legislation. I believe that good constituent relations are very important to being a good and effective legislator.
3. Who from the opposing party do you most respect? And your own party?
First of all, I respect all members of the General Assembly from both sides of the aisle. In addition, I respect anyone willing to serve in public office at any level. Today, it seems that less cooperation and not enough collaboration takes place in the political process. I have the highest and most sincere respect for Dr. Jack Magruder. Dr. Magruder is probably the strongest and best-known Democrat from Northeast Missouri. Dr. Magruder has always treated me with respect and fairly over the many years we have known each other; he knows how to work in a nonpartisan way to get things done.
I also hold 45th District State Rep. Chris Kelly and 78th District State Rep. Penny Hubbard in high esteem. Chris is bright, has vision and is fair, while Penny is very conscientious and a hard worker for urban issues and her constituents. My favorite two democrats would be President Harry Truman and Congressman Jerry Litton.
On the Republican side, I have appreciated working with all the members and leadership of the majority caucus. I consider President Ronald Reagan as my political mentor.
4. What was your dream job growing up?
As a young boy growing up on a farm near Anabel, Missouri, I dreamed of being president of the United States or the catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
5. What do you most enjoy about the interim?
Getting away from the State Capitol to be able to get out in my 3rd District in North Missouri to connect with my constituents at community events, fairs, public forums and parades. I try to be very assessable to the citizens of my district at all times. I also like to spend additional time with my sons Madison and Sam, as well as with family and friends. It is always special and enjoyable getting to spend more time at the farm working and enjoying being outdoors.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.