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Missouri GOP leadership condemns Kansas City House candidate known for ‘vile’ statements

Steve West vows he’s not ‘backing down’ as he campaigns for seat again

Missouri House leadership immediately condemned a controversial Kansas City-area Republican who entered a state House race this week. 

Steve West, the Republican nominee for HD 15 in 2018, made national headlines for anti-Semitic comments he made on his radio show over the years. With the current representative terming out, West is once again seeking the seat. 

“Steve West’s shocking and vile comments do not reflect the position of the Missouri Republican Party or indeed of any decent individual,” House Speaker Elijah Haahr, Majority Leader Rob Vescovo, and Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann said in a joint statement Wednesday. “West’s abhorrent rhetoric has absolutely no place in the Missouri Republican Party or anywhere. We wholeheartedly condemn his comments.” 

“To our knowledge, no member of the Missouri Republican Party, the House Republican Campaign Committee, or sitting member of the General Assembly recruited Mr. West to run for office; we find his statements to be vile, offensive, and out of line with our party’s values.” 

HD 15 has been represented by Democratic state Rep. Jon Carpenter since 2013. Kansas City teacher Maggie Nurrenbern is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat; aside from West, Adam Richardson has filed to run as a Republican in the district. 

West, who has a foundation repair business, has been vocal on his radio show about women’s athletics (a “haven and breeding ground for lesbianism”) and the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. He also once said: “Hitler was right about what was taking place in Germany and who was behind it.” 

“They have been running this assault on America,” West once said of Israel. “They have been giving us gay marriage, pornography, abortion, everything that’s anti-Christian. This is what they do. This is how they corrupt a Christian nation because they are an anti-Christ people.” 

West told The Missouri Times he’s taken a step back from his radio show — where he pontificated under pseudonyms such as “Jack Justice” and others — but would bring it back if he’s elected to the statehouse. He also decried media reports at the time for taking some of his comments “out of context” and directed voters to his website where full episodes are available. 

West said he is not concerned by House Republican leaders already condemning his entrance into the race and certainly isn’t backtracking from his past comments. 

“I’m not backing down from anything,” West said in an interview. “In fact, I’m coming even stronger. I’m not apologizing for anything.” 

In an interview with The Missouri Times Thursday afternoon, West said he believes some religions should not “qualify” in the U.S., specifically decrying the “theocracy” of Islam and Judaism. 

“It’s all Jewish organizations in this country who promote open borders. They’re organizing the caravans,” he said. 

As far as his platform goes, West said he wants to promote more school choice to give parents more options. Additionally, he said more competition could result in public schools “responding” by promoting “Christian and American values.” 

West also said he wants to prohibit vaccines from being mandatory — citing the debunked theory that vaccines create an “epidemic” of ADHD, autism, diabetes, and lupus — and remove any trace of fluoride from the water supply. 

West has a little more than $4,100 cash on hand as of his January filing. Richardson has more than $116. 

Nurrenbern, on the other hand, has more than $32,000 in her war chest. She told The Missouri Times she is the “antithesis” to West. 

“I know it’s our diversity that makes us stronger,” she said. “Hate has no place in our community.”