Democrat Cody Kelley and Republican Dottie Bailey are candidates for state representative in Missouri’s 110th District in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, election.
The Missourian contacted both candidates to learn more about why they are running and goals if elected.
Profiles on each candidate follow:
Kelley, a Pacific High School graduate and Pacific resident, is employed as a special education para-educator at PHS, where he has worked since 2012.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in media studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the fall of 2016.
Kelley has not held elective office, but is an active member of the community. He is a member of the Jaycees, Historic First Baptist Church Restoration Committee (HFBCRC), Pacific Eagles Aerie 3842, American Legion Baseball and the Meramec Valley National Educators Association (MVNEA).
The candidate credits his mother, Collector Debbie Kelley, with getting him involved in community service, but it was his work with the HFBCRC that showed him the power of community involvement.
His primary interest is public education. If elected, he will use his voice to encourage the House to reinvest in technology and trade school.
“The goal of high school should be to prepare students for college or the workforce,” Kelley said. “The bottom line is what kids need when they get out of school is to be able to get a really good job. Working in the trades would allow them to do that without a ton of college debt.”
At the local level, he would strive to direct young people to technology and trade.
The candidate would work toward the Legislature fully funding public schools. He also would invite schools and students to explore vocational and technology opportunities, and would strive for more programs at the Four Rivers Career Center, such as cosmetology.
Above all, he said he would seek student loan forgiveness programs, such as individuals working several years in the field of their degree, such as nursing or teaching.
Kelley said he wants to serve in the state Legislature as a way to expand the community to the state.
If elected, he will go back to the people with town hall meetings and will return home every weekend.
“When people come to me and say, ‘This matters to me,’ I will say let me look into this,” Kelley said. “I want to hear what people have to say in my district.”
Kelley has been endorsed by the UAW, Ironworkers, Franklin County Labor Club, Rockwood Labor Club and the MVNEA.
Kelley, who is single, is the son of contractor Benton Kelley and Debbie Kelley. He has one sister, Shannon Russel.
Bailey, a Eureka resident, is a banker by trade.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University, and has completed training with the Center for Self-Governance.
Although she has not held previous elected office, the candidate served on the St. Louis Mortgage Bankers Board of Governors from 2017 to the present and the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition Board since August 2015.
As a local activist Bailey participated in a movement to assist businesses in Ferguson that were affected by the riots, joining the St. Louis Tea Party BUYcotts. She also was active in the movement to push former State Sen. Eric Schmitt’s municipal court reform bill.
Closer to home, she worked with Heritage Action for America, the grassroots arm of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., to help form the Real Estate Sentinel Program.
In 2016, she was awarded the Heritage Action Wall of Honor Award for her grassroots conservative efforts.
Bailey describes herself as pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and citizens right to keep and bear arms, and a defender of religious freedom.
She said her decision to run for the 110th District seat is her belief that union bosses, not the rank-and-file, want to control Eureka, Pacific and Wildwood in the Missouri House.
“If elected, I’m going to fight for the rank-and-file and all the people of Missouri’s 110th House District,” she said.
Bailey said she wants to expand the possibilities for American workers who are now strangled by some regulations.
The candidate also said she believes legislators can improve the workforce initiative by reducing regulations for American workers.
“In reading statutes, I see that we have regulations on the books that strangle the American worker,” she said. “As an example, 16-year-old fast-food workers are prevented from performing certain tasks that involve using the oven or even a dough mixer. That leaves the 18-year-olds to do the work of the younger workers.”
Noncompete agreements that some workers are forced to sign can work to send the workers out of state if their employment changes, she said.
“We need to keep our workers in the state and the community,” she said. “We can enact better workplace regulations.”
Bailey has two children, Asher and Gracie.