A political newcomer is challenging a longtime representative for Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District seat.
Incumbent Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer, 66, will face off against Democrat Katy Geppert, 36. The 3rd District covers all of Franklin County and covers a large eastern and central portion of the state.
Luetkemeyer has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2009. Geppert has never run for political office.
Geppert, who works for Bunge North America, said she decided to run because she sees an “opportunity.”
“I see opportunity for positive change in this district and this country and I want to be a part of that positive change,” she said.
Luetkemeyer said he wants to continue to serve Franklin County to keep the district, and country, on the right track.
“I’m running for re-election because I believe the policies of the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress have led to wage growth and economic prosperity of Missourians and people across the country,” he said. “We need to remain on this path to ensure our children and grandchildren share in that prosperity for years to come.”
The 3rd District is diverse with both cities and rural communities. He said he wants to work to help both groups.
“We have to keep rolling back the overly burdensome regulations of the previous administration that hinder our farmers and businesses,” he said. “We must also work on improving Missouri’s transportation infrastructure that allows our farmers and manufacturers to get their goods to market and improve access to quality broadband for rural areas. If we can address these local issues, while tackling the larger imbalanced trade practices, the people of Missouri will be in a great place to succeed.”
Geppert cited three areas she’d like to work on if elected. She said she wants to work to “ensure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care, especially in the rural parts of the district.”
She also wants to make sure pre-existing condition coverage is not eliminated.
In addition to health coverage, Geppert said there should be more treatment programs for drug addicts.
Geppert said health care is the top issue facing the 3rd District.
“I have traveled all over this district and the No. 1 issue on the minds of the people is health care,” she said. “They are concerned about many aspects of health care including, maintaining protections for pre-existing conditions, the opioid epidemic, medical marijuana, and access to affordable care. Making sure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care will be a priority of mine when in office.”
Geppert also wanted to work on helping out public schools and improving broadband internet service to rural communities.
Luetkemeyer said his concerns for the district involve the safety and security of its residents.
“As a federal representative my No. 1 priority is always the safety and security of the American people,” he said. “We must support the brave men and women who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. From our soldiers overseas to the agents protecting our borders to the law enforcement officers patrolling our communities we have a duty to provide them with the necessary resources to accomplish their mission and return home to their families safely.”
Another area Luetkemeyer wants to address is building up the workforce. He cited workforce development as a major issue for the district.
“I meet with businesses around the district, and a recurring issue is lack of trained employees,” he said. “The tax cuts have dropped unemployment to record low levels and in order to keep our economy growing we need to continue building our trained workforce. For that reason I have supported multiple pieces of legislation that provide funding for and encourage businesses to support job training.”