JOPLIN, Mo. – Rep. Bill White will hold his first campaign kick-off for the 2018 32nd Senate District race Tuesday evening at a fairly unique place. While other legislators often look for large venues to hold their announcement intentions, White will hold his event at the Joplin Baskin Robbins.
That decision is incredibly deliberate for a representative who has held fundraising events and gatherings in local Joplin businesses since he started his tenure in the House roughly seven years ago. In fact, after he first won his House seat, White treated staffers who had gone door-to-door for him to ice cream at Culver’s while many other representatives went to Jefferson City to meet with HRCC.
“That’s the theme of my campaign is we’re doing this for the people in the district,” White told The Missouri Times. “I like being at home with my family, but it’s a service component to me.”
Now, constituents will have a chance to her why White wants to be their senator as he seeks to step into the upper chamber over 31 flavors.
Namely, White believes he is an independent, conservative voice for the people of Joplin, Carthage, Neosho, Webb City, Carl Junction and Greenfield.
“I decided I want somebody who represents the district, who’s going to represent the people in the district and not just go along with leadership,” White said. “I agree with leadership probably 96-97 percent of the time, but when I don’t agree with them, I’m not a quiet person.”
Namely, White spoke out this year against multiple top legislative priorities from GOP House leadership this year. He vociferously attempted to change SB 43, the discrimination bill, after hearing a lot of feedback from constituents, opposed the circuit breaker tax credit repeal and voted against three budget bills that he believed would harm Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens.
However, he was a major supporter on this year’s tort reform efforts, serving as co-chair of the Special Committee for Litigation Reform. White has also sponsored a right-to-work bill every year he has served in the House, and he supports most economic development measures.
On top of those reasons, White has grown weary of a Senate that seemingly fails to fulfill its basic functions with little to no congeniality.
“There’s a lot people that have announced they’re running that I would like to have as a co-senator. I think you would see a little more professional approach perhaps to being a legislator, giving the job the respect that it needs,” White said. “There are ways we should act and ways we should not act and getting into name-calling and ‘nanny-nanny-boo-boo’ stuff is just not appropriate for the position.”
Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, who currently occupies the seat for SD 32, is term-limited in 2018.