KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Lifelong Washington County resident Mike McGirl is running for office.
A Republican, McGirl recently announced interest in pursuing the 118th House District seat that currently is occupied by Democratic Rep. Ben Harris of Hillsboro.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” McGirl says. “The last time I ran for [Washington County] Collect in 2010 — I was seriously thinking about it then.”
McGirl is a practicing certified public accountant and has been the Washington County Collector for 23 years. Currently, only one sitting legislator is a CPA: newly-elected Speaker Pro Tem, Rep. Denny Hoskins.
In terms of issues, McGirl says he hopes to advocate for bringing not just more jobs to the district (and the state, he says) but well-paying jobs. He adds that he is a pro-life, pro-First and Second Amendment candidate who thinks the Second Amendment is “being abused a lot” right now.
As far as additional issues, McGirl says he hopes to get out and talk with constituents about what issues matter to them.
“Jobs are always a big thing for constituents here, but I want to hear what all else they want,” he says. ” Plus, when you are a representative, you aren’t just there for your district but for the whole state too, so you’re making decisions for all of the people in Missouri. I want to make sure talk to people and see what they have to say.”
Currently, McGirl says the biggest challenge of his campaign is name recognition in the Jefferson County area. Since he has represented Washington County for 23 years, that isn’t a concern of his, but he has had no formal representation of the parts of Jefferson County within the district, so that will be a focus of his campaign, he says.
“I am qualified,” he says. “I have the skills and the knowledge to do the job not only for the district, but for the state.”
McGirl is married with three daughters, the youngest being a college senior.
“I wouldn’t do this unless my wife, Diane, was behind me,” he says.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.