KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Republican Becky Ruth announced this week that she is running for House District 114 for the second time in hopes of closing the gap of her 2012 loss of 89 votes.
Ruth says she was encouraged by supporters and family to pursue another run, and that she thinks her strong voice and “heart for serving the community,” would be beneficial for the area and worth a second shot at the race.
“I really loved [campaigning] and look forward to getting out there and talking to people again,” Ruth says. “And, I absolutely love knocking on doors. If you’re going to be a representative, you have to be out there talking to people, hearing what their concerns are and staying up-to-date.”
Ruth is running against incumbent Democratic Rep. TJ McKenna, who she ran against in 2012.
“I’ve really gotten overwhelming support from people about this,” Ruth says, adding that she also has worked with the House Republican Campaign Committee as she has worked to get the campaign off the ground.
For 25 years, Ruth worked as a high school teacher, leading up to her 2011 retirement where she went on to become the state president of the Missouri School Teachers Association.
Because of her experience, education is a big focus area for Ruth, she says, as she hopes to be a strong voice for schools if elected.
“When we talk about jobs and industry and businesses coming to our area, one of the things they look at is our schools,” she says, pointing to funding for education as a key area for improvement. “We’ve got to bring all of the parties to the table and work together on those issues so we have something that’s solid and strong and makes schools productive.”
Ruth says she has spent a significant amount of time familiarizing herself with the lay of the land in Jefferson City already because of her time in MSTA advocating for their issues.
Another focus area for her in terms of issues is the local economy. Namely, the jobs that could come from growth of the Jefferson County port. It’s a small operation now, she says, but the opportunity that’s there to bring economic growth to the County with extra jobs would be highly beneficial.
“I want to work toward making it easier for businesses to do business here,” she says. “We need to cut the red tape that burdens the businesses that could be coming to these smaller communities. A lot of things depend heavily on our local, small businesses.”
Ruth says she doesn’t have any major concerns about the campaign right now, and that she’s looking forward to getting started. Her campaign kick off event is scheduled for Oct. 14.
Ruth and her husband live in Festus, Mo., have three children and three grandchildren.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.