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Each election year, KBIA sits down with local candidates to hear what they have to say on their own terms. Some of these candidates you might see on TV every day. Others might be familiar by name only, if that. But KBIA interviews them all so that you can be informed when you go to the polls in November.

Candidate Conversations: David Tyson Smith

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Ellie Lin

David Tyson Smith is the current state representative for District 45 and is running unopposed for state representative of the newly drawn District 46.

Briana Heaney: So what originally motivated you to run for office?

David Tyson Smith: Change. You know, people have been disheartened over the last few years. And I believe in hope, I believe in the power of hope. And this is something, I've always had a passion for, not just politics, but serving people. And I had an opportunity to get in. And so I did it without hesitation.

Briana Heaney: Awesome. So what motivated you to run again for this office?

David Tyson Smith: You know, we've had a lot of work to do. And I'll be honest, you know, you go down to Jeff City, and it's a fight. I'm not under any illusions. I mean, we've taken some knocks down there, but we don't back down, you know, I'm on the elections committee. So it's a, it's a fight in a phone booth with a knife every single time. But that's the reality. There are so many bad laws that are moving through that building, laws to make it difficult for people to vote. Laws making it difficult for people to get initiative petitions through to silence the voice of the people. So, I'm not going to stop and I'm going to continue to go down there and fight for me, my family, you, your family, the citizens of Columbia.

Briana Heaney: Okay, so I was reading about your platform on your website, from social justice reform to education reform, what of those things is going to be first on your agenda if elected?

David Tyson Smith: Here's the issue. I mean, right now, we have to fight for election integrity and to make sure the people have the right to vote. I think that's all tied up in the same thing. If we lose the right to vote, if it's difficult for people to get to the voting booths, if the votes are suppressed, we're not going to be able to do anything.

Briana Heaney: What are some of your favorite things about mid-Missouri?

David Tyson Smith: You know, we don't have a huge crime issue. I like the lakes. I like nature. You know, when I was younger, I worked for the university. I worked for plant pathology, we would collect soil samples, and I liked going out to these farms around here. So, I like that about this area. And then you can, you know, you have other areas that are, you know, not so rural. But it's, you know, it provides a way to kind of to get away. And the people here are so smart, especially in, you know, Columbia, it's great to engage with so many, so many smart people.

Briana Heaney: Last question, what makes you the best candidate for the job?

David Tyson Smith: Because I believe in hope, and I believe in the power of hope. And I believe we can do amazing things. I really do. And, you know, one of the things that was hard for me is looking at people's eyes and people are discouraged. And they think we can't win and we can't do great things. We can do great things. I believe that. I believe I wouldn't do this. I'm an attorney. I could stay doing that. No, I'm willing to make the sacrifice because I think we can do great things. And it's right there. It's right there for all of us. We could just reach out and take it. We could we can change. You know, this upcoming election, if we flip some seats, we can change Boone County. And if we change Boone County, we can change the state. And if we change the state, we can change the country. And I think special things are around the corner here in Boone County, we're really in a unique place, the dynamics, we're going to have an open senate seat, the state senate seat because of redistricting now that the Democrats can capture. And I think great things are right around the corner. So, I'm excited about the future. I'm excited about the future of Boone County.

Briana Heaney: Well, thank you for coming here and talking.

David Tyson Smith: It has been a pleasure, thank you.

Briana Heaney is a senior at the University of Missouri’s journalism school studying cross-platform editing and producing and minoring in economics.
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