Like many contests this November, the race for the 109th House District seat is being contested by two new faces to the political system.
After facing two opponents in the August Republican primary, John Simmons, Krakow, is facing Democrat and Union resident James Cordrey.
Simmons, 53, a chiropractor, has been married to his wife Nanci for 25 years. Together, they have three children.
Cordrey, 32, is a software developer at Dataverify in Chesterfield. He is currently engaged.
Why are you running for office?
Simmons says he wants to protect and respect the shared values of Franklin County.
“I plan to work hard to help bring economic opportunities to our region which will translate into better jobs, better wages, and job security,” Simmons said. “Additionally I will be a watchdog to protect our families from the scourge of drugs and opioid abuse. Education awareness, nondrug health care access, law enforcement, health insurance/provider accountability are areas that can help fight this epidemic. Our law enforcement deserves our praise, our thanks, and our unwavering support.”
Cordrey says he is running to make a difference.
“I want to be the kind of legislator who works for and with constituents to find the right answer,” Cordrey said I’m not a big fan of partisan politics, which is why I want to implement ranked choice voting in Missouri, which will provide us with better candidates in every election, and remove the party from the equation for positions like prosecuting attorney. I have two nieces, and soon will have two nephews-in-law. I want them to grow up in a Missouri that is better than the one I grew up in, and I think I can help make that happen.
What problems do you think need to be addressed in Missouri/Franklin County?
Cordrey says sustained, local economic growth needs to be on the forefront.
“We want new families, new businesses, and new entrepreneurs to live here, work here, pay taxes here, worship here and play here,” he said. “That growth requires first-class infrastructure which includes efficient, safe transit routes, broadband access and an educated trained workforce. Leaders and stakeholders from city governments within Franklin County, county officials, private businesses, educators and concerned citizens working with our state legislators should focus on policies for economic growth.”
Simmons says with a county this size and the steady growth in some areas of Franklin County, three areas of concern among others come to the forefront: job creation assisted by first rate education, crime prevention and infrastructure improvements.
“Free market capitalism engineered by small businesses and entrepreneurs is the best way to create jobs, create high wages and give families economic security for their future,” Simmons said. “Tax reductions and regulation reductions, like President Trump has done on a national level, should be enhanced by similar reductions on the state level which in turn will lead to sustained regional economic development, more job opportunities, better wages, and local economic vitality for the next generation.”
What do you plan to keep/change if elected?
Simmons said he will keep accessibility to, for and by the constituents of the 109th District similar to the past dedicated long term officeholders.
“I will keep protecting and respecting the values of Franklin County; values like a strong work ethic, love of God, country and neighbor, and honoring/supporting our veterans and first responders,” Simmons said. “I will continue to change, lower and/or eliminate where possible, the tax and regulatory environment to attract businesses, jobs, and investment into our state and local economy.”
Cordrey says there are a lot of things he wants to change.
“I would love to keep the tradition of being involved with constituents,” he said. “I think it’s vital that a legislator be open to the people they serve, and talk to them whenever possible. I want to continue our state’s focus on improving public education. That would require a change of course, though, away from charter schools, which siphon money from public education funds.”
Why should residents vote for you?
Cordrey says we need to do better for our neighbors. “I believe I have shown multiple times that I am the only candidate in the 109th District that has a firm grasp on these issues,” Cordrey said. “I have plans to address the opioid crisis, gun violence, school safety, health care costs, job creation, education reform, farming issues that affect rural Missouri, and voting reform/security. We have a lot of work to do to improve our state, and I believe that I am the only candidate that’s willing to go to Jefferson City to work for the people of the 109th District.”
Simmons says his ability to understand constituent needs are the foundation by which he should be selected.
“I listen well and will take that skill and listen to my constituents, my colleagues, the experts and ask questions, listen some more and then determine what legislative action, if any, should be taken, Simmons said. “I have the only experience among the candidates, in the private sector owning a small business, employing workers, and confronting the bureaucracy. I know how to run a successful business. Government, at all levels, needs to run like the private sector. It needs to run efficiently, responsibly, cost-effectively, and responsively.”