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What are we voting for in the November 2022 election? Here is everything on Boone County's ballot

Rebecca Smith

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 for "Candidate Conversations," so that you can be informed when you go to the polls next week.

Election Day

Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8.

Voters can find their polling precinct by checking their voter registration on the Secretary of State’s website or through a link on the Boone County Clerk’s website under the Where Do I Vote? button.

There will be four alternative central polling places:

  • Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut St.
  • Hearnes Center, 700 E. Stadium Blvd.
  • Friendship Baptist Church, 1707 Smiley Lane.
  • Woodcrest Chapel, 2201 W. Nifong Blvd.

A new state law requires voters to have a valid photo ID with an expiration date issued by either the federal government or the state of Missouri.
This means voters need to have either a Missouri driver’s or nondriver’s license, or a passport or other federal identification, such as a military ID.

Expired IDs will only be accepted if they expired after the date of the last general election, or Nov. 2, 2020.

Registered voters who do not have a valid ID will be able to vote using a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots will be reviewed by a bipartisan committee and will be counted if the signature on them matches the signature on the voter’s registration record.

Here's a breakdown of who and what is is on the ballot in Boone County and across Missouri:

U.S. Senate

Eric Schmitt, Trudy Busch Valentine, Paul Venable and Jonathan Dine run to fill Sen. Roy Blunt's seat after he announced last year that he would not run. 

In August, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt beat Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and former state Gov. Eric Greitens in the Republican primary.

Trudy Busch Valentine won the Democratic primary against Marine veteran Lucas Kunce. Jonathan of the Libertarian Party and Paul Venable of the Constitution Party both won their respective uncontested primaries, and they will be on the ballot.

Here’s a look at the candidates:

Eric Schmitt

Hometown: Bridgeton, Missouri

Age: 47

Party: Republican

Occupation: Attorney General of Missouri

Education: Earned a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University and a JD from Saint Louis University School of Law.

Campaign website: schmittforsenate.com/

Social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

Background: Schmitt served in the Missouri Senate from 2009 to 2017, representing Missouri’s 15th District. During his tenure, he worked to cut taxes and limited the amount of money that municipalities could raise through traffic violations. After serving his term limit, he became Missouri state treasurer, where he cut business regulations and launched ShowMeCheckbook.com, which provides public data on state spending, state revenues, payroll, debt obligations and cash flow.

As attorney general, he used lawsuits to support policies from the Trump administration and push back against actions by the Biden administration. He also filed lawsuits challenging local COVID-19 restrictions.

Schmitt is endorsed by Donald Trump U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt and former Sens. John Ashcroft, Kit Bond and Jim Talent.

Trudy Busch Valentine

Hometown: Clayton

Age: 65

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Registered nurse

Education: Nursing degree from Saint Louis University and a master of arts in pastoral studies from the Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Campaign website: https://www.trudybuschvalentine.com/

Social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

Background: Busch Valentine is a fourth-generation Missourian who, prior to this race, had no political experience. She is an heiress to the Anheuser-Busch family fortune, which Forbes magazine reported as $17.6 billion in 2020.

Her priorities, if elected, include codifying abortion rights, expanding LGBTQ discrimination protection and reforming government ethics by banning legislators from taking money from corporate PACs and lobbying. Busch Valentine’s own campaign is largely self-funded. Out of the $7.69 million in total contributions, she contributed $6.35 million.

She also wants to prohibit China from purchasing Missouri farmland, and she’s been a vocal critic of Schmitt’s hand in passing a 2013 bill that allowed up to 1% of Missouri land to be bought by foreign entities.

She has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, the National Education Association and former Sen. Jean Carnahan.

Paul Venable

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Age: 68

Party: Constitution

Occupation: Retired, IT consultant for 30 years

Education: Attended University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University

Campaign website: https://youwinmissouri.org/

Social media: Twitter, Facebook.

Background: Venable left the Republican Party for the Constitution Party in 2004. After serving as chairman of the Idaho Constitution Party, he moved to Missouri in late 2017 and became chairman of the Missouri Constitution Party the next year.

Venable’s platform is informed by a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. He believes full compliance with the U.S. Constitution is imperative to solving all major issues. He believes the 2020 election was constitutionally illegitimate, and his immediate legislative priority is overturning it.

Jonathan Dine

Hometown: San Diego

Age: 43

Party: Libertarian

Occupation: Personal trainer

Education: High school graduate

Campaign website: facebook.com/votedine/

Social media: Facebook, Twitter.

Background: This year’s race marks Dine’s fourth time running for the U.S. Senate. His most successful run was in 2012, when he captured over 6% of the vote.

Dine describes himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. His top legislative priorities are instituting congressional term limits, balancing the federal budget, ending foreign wars and ending the war on drugs.

4th Congressional District

Mark Alford, Randy Langkraehr and Jack Truman are the three candidates in Missouri’s 4th Congressional District election this year.

Alford, a Republican, and Truman, a Democrat, won their party’s respective primaries in August. This is Truman’s second time running for the seat after losing the Democratic primary in 2016 to Gordon Christensen.

Randy Langkraehr, a Libertarian candidate, is also on the ballot this year.

The 4th District seat has been held by Republican Vicky Hartzler since 2011. Hartzler put in a bid for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s open seat and lost in the GOP primary to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

Here’s a look at the current nominees for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District.

Mark Alford

Residence: Kansas City.

Age: 59

Party: Republican.

Occupation: Worked as news co-anchor at FOX4 News in Kansas City until 2021. Prior to that, he worked as an anchor for the FOX News affiliate in Dallas and the NBC News affiliate in Houston.

Education: Attended Baytown Sterling High School prior to attending the University of Texas where he ended up perusing a career in television rather than finishing his degree.

Campaign Website: alfordforcongress.com

Social Media: Mark Alford (Facebook), @markalfordkc (Twitter).

Background: Before running for office, Alford worked as a conservative reporter and co-anchor for FOX4 News and was previously an anchor for Fox and NBC news affiliates in Texas. If elected, he plans to focus on issues such as rural broadband and labor shortages in Boone County. Alford plans to be, “a strong conservative voice for Missouri,” according to his campaign website, and hopes hopes that every farmer in Boone County can have access to broadband.

Randy Langkraehr

Residence: Warrensburg.

Age: 61

Party: Libertarian.

Occupation: Owner of three different businesses: a tax and bookkeeping office, a marketing company and a real estate office. He was previously a medication technician.

Education: After earning his associate’s degree, he attended Central Missouri State University where he received a bachelor’s degree.

Campaign Website: lpmo.org

Social Media: Randy Langkraehr (Facebook), @RandyLangkraehr (Twitter).

Background: Langkraehr’s campaign is mainly focused financial issues. One issue he focuses on within his campaign is the trillions of dollars in debt that he says the U.S. government has yet to pay off. He believes the country should have a stronger financial responsibility.

Jack Truman

Residence: Lamar.

Age: 57

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Truman is a writer, actor and director for both the stage and film. He is also an Army veteran and recently taught theater at Minnesota State University. Currently, he is planning an independent film festival in Los Angeles as a part time job.

Education: Attended Lamar High School, earned a bachelor’s degree at Missouri Southern State University in 1994 along with a graduate degree in 2022 from Minnesota State University.

Campaign Website: truman4congress.blogpost.com

Social Media: Jack Truman for U.S. Congress (Facebook), @thatjacktruman (Twitter).

Background: Truman is a self described liberal conservative. Truman supports pro-choice legislation and wants Americans to have the right to bear arms, but feels that the access to assault rifles should be controlled. Another main goals of his virtual campaign is to help protect children’s health and education.

3rd Congressional District

Blaine Luetkemeyer seeks his seventh re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, while His Democrat opponent, Bethany Mann, is hoping to win her first campaign for public office.

Blaine Luetkemeyer

Residence: St. Elizabeth

Age: 70

Party: Republican

Occupation: Farmer and small businessman in the banking and insurance industry.

Education: Degree in political science and minor in business administration from Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Campaign website: blaineforcongress.com

Social media: Facebook, Twitter

Background: Luetkemeyer is the incumbent representative for Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District. He was elected to Congress in 2008 after several years as a state representative in the Missouri legislature. Throughout his years in Congress, he has served on the House Financial Services Committee, the House Committee on Small Business and the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. Luetkemeyer is married and has three children.

Bethany Mann

Residence: Brentwood

Age: 39

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Technology specialist; involved in research, development and education for agriculture, food and beverage, energy and more.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from University of Illinois.

Campaign website: bethanymannforcongress.com

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Background: Throughout her career, Mann has worked as a technology specialist with a focus on research and regulatory compliance in industries such as agriculture and energy. She has served on the executive boards of the Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Consortium and the Kansas Laboratory Education Association.

Mann is married with children and is expecting another child in February 2023.

State Auditor

Incumbent Republican State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick is running against Democrat Alan Green and Libertarian John Hartwig Jr.

Incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway, the sole statewide Democratic official, announced in June 2021 that she would not seek re-election nor run for another office this year.

Scott Fitzpatrick

Hometown: Shell Knob

Age: 35

Party: Republican

Occupation: Small business owner and incumbent state treasurer

Education: Bachelor of Science in business administration from MU

Campaign website: scottfitzpatrick.com

Social media: Facebook, Twitter

Background: Fitzpatrick is the incumbent state treasurer. He assumed the position in January 2019 after being appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to fill the vacancy left by now-Attorney General Eric Schmitt. In 2020, he was elected to his own term as treasurer.

Fitzpatrick previously represented the 158th district in the state legislature from 2013 to 2019. He served as the chair of the House Budget Committee in 2017 and 2018. Fitzpatrick is married and has three sons.

Alan Green

Hometown: Florissant

Age: 62

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Small business owner, minister, and CFO of the Missouri Minority Business Development Agency

Education: Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and American diplomacy from the University of Texas in Tyler, Texas; MBA from Lindenwood University; Ph.D. in theology from Survine Bible College

Campaign website: alankgreen.com

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Background: Green is a former member of the Missouri legislature, representing the 67th district in St. Louis County from 2014-2021. During his time in the state house, he also served as the chair of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus from 2016 to 2018.

Green previously served as a police officer and as director of the Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity. He is married with four children.

John Hartwig Jr.

Hometown: St. Charles

Age: 80

Party: Libertarian

Occupation: Certified public accountant

Education: Bachelor of Science in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis

Campaign website: jhartwigcpa.com/

Social media: Facebook

Background: Hartwig owns his own accounting firm in St. Charles and has worked as a CPA for over 50 years. Previously, he worked as an audit supervisor for a national accounting firm.

Hartwig also served two years in the U.S. Army Finance Corps during the Vietnam War. He is married with two children.

House District 44

Dave Raithel runs for against Cheri Toalson Reisch.

Reisch has held the 44th District seat since 2017.

Dave Raithel

Hometown: Columbia.

Age: 67.

Party: Democrat.

Occupation: Army veteran (1974-1977), musician, philosopher, a retired truck driver for Salvation Army and a retired farm hand for Missouri Rural Crisis Center.

Education: St. Charles High School; bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis and doctorate in philosophy from MU.

Campaign website: daveraithelforthe44th.com/

Social media: Facebook

Background: Dave Raithel has been involved in the Columbia community and Democratic politics for over 40 years. The first campaign he worked on in Missouri was the first gubernatorial campaign of Joe Teasdale in 1972.

He says he is a small “d” Democrat who would work on sensible policy with Democrats and across the aisle.

“I am more committed to the principle of democracy than I am to the Democratic Party itself,” Raithel said.

Cheri Toalson Reisch

Hometown: Hallsville.

Age: 60.

Party: Republican

Occupation: Legal assistant with Cline, Braddock, and Basinger Law Office in Columbia; owns Cheri Reisch Property Management.

Education: Hallsville High School; Certified Municipal Clerk and a Certified Court Administrator with MU.

Campaign website: cheri44.com/

Social media: Facebook

Background: Reisch has been the representative for the 44th district in the Missouri legislature since 2017. Before that, she was the mayor of Hallsville and the city clerk/court administrator of Hallsville. Reisch is currently on the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and the Elections and Elected Officials Committee.

“I have a lifelong track record of getting things done. I look forward to serving my fourth and final term in the 44th District,” Reisch said. “Although, I will be losing Sturgeon and Clark areas, I am looking forward to representing Southern Boone County along with the Centralia and Hallsville areas.”

House District 47

John Martin and Adrian Plank run for House District 47.

The seat is left empty after David Tyson Smith was forced to abandon the seat due to legislative redistricting.

John Martin

Residence: Columbia

Age: 53

Party: Republican

Occupation: Owner of Pro Pumping & Hydrojetting

Education: Bachelor of science in political science and economics from Southwest Baptist University, Masters of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Seminary

Campaign website: martinfor47.com

Social media: Facebook

Background: Martin is the owner of Pro Pumping and Hydrojetting, a family owned business that has been in business for over 40 years. He volunteers in the community and serves on the outdoor garden committee at Russell Boulevard Elementary, as well as Future Farmers of America.

According to his campaign website, supporting law enforcement is an important item for Martin. He was the event organizer for the “Back the Blue, Back the Flag” Columbia rallies in 2020 and 2021. “Supporting law enforcement and all first responders will always be a top priority for me in Jefferson City,” his website said.

Martin values strong schools, a thriving economy, and public safety. According to his website, he strives to support pro-life bills and policies.

“I will fight to protect the most vulnerable among us,” he said on his campaign website.

He also said he will fight against eminent domain abuse and protect private property rights as part of his campaign. Other values include keeping taxes low, effectively funding infrastructure, supporting veterans and supporting agriculture.

Adrian Plank

Residence: Columbia

Age: 49

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Union carpenter

Campaign website: adrianplank.com

Social media: Facebook, Twitter

Background: Plank said he is running with the goal of serving the working class. The Democratic candidate grew up in a working-class family which had to rely on food stamps until his father got a union-backed job.

Plank owned a small business which dissolved under the burst of the 2007 housing bubble. Almost 10 years after that, the entrepreneur found a stable job within a union.

He worked to repeal the 2018 Right-to-Work referendum that the Republicans proposed in Jefferson City. He runs on a platform that emphasizes union rights and working-class populations.

“I firmly believe that everyone should have the right to form a union,” Plank said on his campaign website.

Plank is endorsed by the Sierra Club and emphasizes environmental issues. According to his campaign website, if elected, his first bills in the capital would be a community solar program and to encourage sustainable farming practices across the state.

“I would ... incentivize farmers to practice no-till rotational farming, a much more sustainable method than the current method that uses much more water,” the campaign website said. “A community solar program would subsidize solar installation in new developments and in established rural communities.”

Other values listed on the campaign website include LGBTQ+ rights, abortion rights and gun safety reform.

House District 50

Doug Mann and James Musgraves run for Missouri's 50th House District. 

Incumbent Sarah Walsh is not running for re-election. She has entered the race for Missouri’s 4th Congressional District but dropped out because redistricting cut out her base of support in the state’s 50th House District.

Doug Mann

Residence: Columbia

Age: 33

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Civil rights attorney, formerly high school history and civics teacher.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in education from Niagara University, master’s degree in public policy from the University of Illinois Chicago, juris doctorate from MU.

Campaign website: mannformo.com

Social media: Twitter: @MannforMo50; Instagram: mannformo; Facebook: facebook.com/mannformo50

Background: Mann said that his top priorities would be boosting public school funding, increasing access to mental health care, improving workers’ rights and fighting for reproductive rights. Mann said about 25% of Missouri school districts are operating on four-day weeks and that “it really shouldn’t be a partisan issue” to increase funding for public schools so they can have five-day weeks.

Mann said increasing funding to the state’s Department of Mental Health would address staffing issues and provide it with the resources to help people undergoing mental health crises. Increased funding to the state’s Human Rights Commission, Mann said, would help free up the commission’s backlog of employment discrimination cases.

Mann said he is a “staunch pro-choice candidate.” Although Missouri banned abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Mann said reproductive health care may still be in danger and that he will work to protect access.

James Musgraves

Residence: Columbia

Age: 54

Party: Republican.

Occupation: Retired U.S. Navy commander

Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science from MUmaster’s of education and master’s of science in administration in human performance technology from the University of West Florida.

Campaign website: facebook.com/JamesMusgravesMO

Social media: Twitter: @JimMusgravesMO

Background: Musgraves said his platform is centered on strengthening the economy, repairing infrastructure, improving parents’ access to their children’s education and supporting law enforcement. Musgraves said the economy is “the concern of everybody” right now because inflation and the cost of living are increasing. He backs repealing Missouri’s gas tax increase and personal property tax.

Missouri’s 250 miles of Interstate 70 is among the “least rehabilitated stretches” of the highway in the country, he said. Calling the interstate the U.S. supply system’s “carotid artery” he said the federal government should direct Missouri tax dollars toward improvements. Musgraves said the public education system is “struggling with politically correct wokeness” and schools should focus on reading, math and science. He said parents need to have access to their children’s school curricula.

He said he would work to understand and help the Columbia Police Department and Boone County Sheriff’s Department staffing and funding needs.

Boone County Commissioner

Kip Kendrick and Connie Leipard are facing off to succeed Dan Atwill.

The presiding commissioner job is one of the most powerful in local government as the commissioner chairs the three-member Boone County Commission, which is responsible for county operations and spending decisions.

Kip Kendrick

Age: 41

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Chief of Staff for state Sen. Greg Razer.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, graduate degree in education leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri.

Campaign website: kipkendrick.com

Social media: Facebook, Twitter

Background: After representing House District 45 for six years, Kendrick stepped down at the end of 2020 to be chief of staff for state Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City.

While in the House, Kendrick served as the ranking minority member of the Budget Committee and said that he plans to use that experience to address the allocation of the county’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars if elected. He said he would also focus on workforce development, specifically by ensuring local government employees receive adequate pay.

Connie Leipard

Age: 63

Party: Republican

Occupation: Owner of Quality Drywall Construction.

Education: Hickman High School

Campaign website: connieforboonecounty.com

Social media: Facebook

Background: Leipard has owned Quality Drywall Construction for over 40 years.

She serves on a variety of local and national boards, including the Boone County Children Services Board, the Central Missouri Subcontracting Enterprise Board and the National Association of Women in Construction.

Using what she has learned through her board services and what she knows as a business owner, Leipard said she would focus on public safety, infrastructure and economic development if elected.

Boone County Treasurer

Dustin Stanton was appointed to county the treasurer last April after Tom Darrough's departure. Now Jenna Redel is challenging Stanton for the post.

The treasurer is responsible for safely managing the county’s $100 million investment portfolio and for ensuring returns meet the county’s cashflow needs, according to the county website.

Jenna Redel

Residence: Columbia

Age: 47

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Boone County director of Risk Management and Human Resources.

Education: Master’s degree in business administration; MU law degree.

Campaign website: jennaredel.com

Social media: facebook.com/Jenna4Treasurer

Background: As a teen, she volunteered in outreach work with women who had experienced domestic violence. She has worked as a police officer while attending MU as a single mother. She became an assistant state attorney general in the civil litigation division. As a state trial attorney, she worked on cases against tobacco corporations and investment companies that illegally withheld millions of dollars in public employee pension funds.

She has been involved in Boone County strategic plan development and evaluating financial records and software. She advocates for secure and ethical investment of county funds and developing systems that keep out mismanagement and have a commitment to anti-corruption. She plans to be a resource for efficient, effective money management.

Dustin Stanton

Residence: Centralia

Age: 30

Party: Republican

Occupation: Boone County Treasurer, Stanton Brothers Eggs co-owner

Education: Bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management from MU.

Campaign website: dustinstanton.com

Social media: facebook.com/dustin.stanton.92

Background: He has spent his life in Centralia. At age 6, he and his brother founded Stanton Brothers Eggs with six chickens. Within 10 years, the business was designated by the USDA as the largest independent free-range egg operation in the nation. .

He served as president of the Columbia Farmers Market and co-chairman on the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Priorities include transparency of funds, accountability of county expenditures and oversight of investments in bonds. He also intends to combat inflation and attract funding for MU, secondary education and broadband access expansion.

Recorder of Deeds

Sharon Jones and Bob Nolte are running to fill Nora Dietzel's position as the Recorder of Deeds.

The Recorder of Deeds is the county official whose office keeps track of land ownership, issues marriage certificates and manages various other records.

Shamon Jones

Residence: Columbia

Age: 42

Party: Republican

Occupation: FedEx regional solutions consultant.

Education: Associate’s degree in business administration from Columbia College.

Campaign website: shamonjonesforboonecounty.com

Social media: Facebook

Background: Jones is passionate about local Black history and genealogical research.

She presented about her family’s history at this summer’s Juneteenth celebrations, and can trace her lineage in Columbia back six generations.

If elected, she says she would focus on helping people discover and preserve their family and community histories via publicly available tools and information, and on bringing healing to Columbia’s Black community through leadership.

Currently, she is a marketing consultant for FedEx covering the mid-Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas area.

Bob Nolte

Residence: Columbia

Age: 34

Party: Democrat

Occupation: Educational administrator.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in history at Binghamton University, master’s degree in educational administration at the University of Southern California.

Campaign website: bobnolte.com

Social media: Facebook

Background: Nolte was an administrator for MU Athletics’ Compliance Office for almost 10 years, and now hopes to turn that extensive experience to serving a larger population.

He won the Democratic primary for the nomination against two opponents, and his campaign has focused on canvassing and door-to-door voter outreach, with over 5,500 doors knocked leading up to the primary election.

If elected, he says he will work on modernizing the office’s technology, prioritize customer service and support those seeking marriage licenses in Boone County, especially if marriage equality comes under threat.

State Judges

Boone County voters will decide on Nov. 8 on whether or not to retain judges on the Missouri Supreme Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. Here are the judges on the ballot.

Missouri Supreme Court

Zel M. Fischer

Hometown: Rock Port

Age: 59

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in political science and philosophy from William Jewell College; Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Background: Fischer has served on the Missouri Supreme Court since 2008.

During his tenure he served a term as chief justice from July 2017 to June 2019.

He was previously retained in 2010.

Fischer served as an associate circuit judge in the 4th Judicial Circuit from 2006 to 2008.

Prior to being a judge, Fischer clerked for former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Andrew J. Higgins from 1988 to 1989.

He established his own law office in 1992 and practiced until 2006.

Robin Ransom

Hometown: St. Louis

Age: 55

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Douglass College at Rutgers University; Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri.

Background: Ransom was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in May 2021.

She previously served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District from January 2019 to May 2021.

Ransom also served as a circuit judge in the 22nd Judicial Circuit from 2008 to 2019 and as a family court commissioner from 2002 to 2008. Prior to being a judge, Ransom worked as an attorney in the public defender’s office (1992 to 1995), prosecutor’s office (1995 to 1996) and family court (1996 to 2002) in St. Louis County.

Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District

Alok Ahuja

Hometown: Kansas City

Age: 59

Education: Bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and English literature from the University of Kansas; Juris Doctor from Yale University.

Background: Ahuja has served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District since 2007. He was previously retained in 2010. Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law at a Washington, D.C. firm from 1989 to 1992 and a Kansas City firm from 1992 to 2007.

Ahuja also sits on the board of directors for Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP), a charity founded by lawyers in Kansas City to raise money for the educational benefit of local disadvantaged children.

Karen King Mitchell

Hometown: St. Louis

Age: 63

Education: Bachelor of arts from the University of Missouri; Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Background: Mitchell has served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District since 2009. She was previously retained in 2010. Prior to being a judge, Mitchell worked in the Missouri attorney general’s office, first as an assistant attorney general (1987 to 1999) and then as chief deputy attorney general (1999 to 2009).

She also served as the director of the Missouri Department of Revenue from January to July 2009.

Mark D. Pfeiffer

Hometown: Columbia

Age: 55

Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Westminster College in Fulton; Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri.

Background: Pfeiffer was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District in 2009. He was previously retained by voters in 2010.

He presently serves on the executive committee of the National Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeals and as the chairperson of the Appellate Courts Education Committee.

Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law in Springfield and Columbia.

Pfeiffer also teaches a course at Westminster College.

Doug Thomson

Hometown: Maryville

Age: 60

Education: Bachelor of science degree in finance from Missouri State University; Juris Doctor from University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Background: Thomson was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District in March 2020. He previously served as an associate circuit judge in Nodaway County from 2014 to 2020.

Thomson served on the board of directors for the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges from 2018 to 2020.

He was a member of the association from 2015 to 2021.

Prior to becoming a judge, he practiced law in Liberty and Maryville.

There are five proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot

Here’s a look at the initiatives certified for the Nov. 8 ballot.

Marijuana Legalization Amendment 3

A “yes” vote legalizes recreational marijuana in Missouri.

A “no” vote keeps recreational marijuana prohibited under Missouri law.

If Amendment 3 passes, the sale, possession, use and purchase of marijuana will become legal for adults over the age of 21. The state will also issue registration cards and limits for individual cultivation of marijuana.

Amendment 3 passing will automatically release Missourians with non-felony marijuana-related offenses from incarceration or parole and probation, and expunge those offenses from their records.

Those with felony marijuana convictions will be able to petition the court system for release, as well as to expunge their records.

The state will also establish a lottery system to award licenses and certifications that will be divided equally among congressional districts.

The state will also impose a 6% tax on the retail price of marijuana. This is expected to provide the state with $7.9 million initially and at least $40.8 million annually. Local governments within the state are also expected to have revenues of $13.8 million annually, according to projections from the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office.

Municipal Securities Amendment 1

A “yes” vote will give the state treasurer power to invest in high-rated municipal securities and bonds. The change is projected to increase state revenue by $2 million annually and local government revenue by $34,000 annually, with no direct cost to the state.

A “no” vote will retain restrictions on the state treasurer’s investing authority.

The Missouri House voted 156-1, and the Senate voted 32-0 to put the amendment on the ballot.

Kansas City Police Funding Amendment 4

A “yes” vote gives the Missouri General Assembly the power to increase the minimum funding provided to police forces established by the state board of police commissioners.

This amendment only applies to the Kansas City Police Department. The department was placed under state board of police commissioners in 1939 and is the only local police department in Missouri under state control.

A “no” vote retains the funding for the Kansas City Police Department.

Missouri National Guard Amendment 5

A “yes” vote for the Missouri National Guard, which is currently under the Missouri Department of Safety, will create its own department. The department will be headed by an adjutant general, who is appointed by and serves under the direction of the governor.

A “no” vote would keep the Missouri National Guard under the Department of Public Safety.

The amendment will have no impact on taxes, but it would cost the state government $132,000 annually.

Constitutional Convention Question

The constitutional convention question is on the Missouri ballot every 20 years. A “yes” vote means the governor will call a convention to revisit and amend the state Constitution. If that convention makes any changes, they would be put to a statewide vote.

A “no” vote would mean no constitutional convention. The last constitutional convention in Missouri was held in 1944.

Uncontested Races

Boone County

County Clerk: Brianna Lennon

Circuit Court Clerk: Christy Blakemor

Prosecuting Attorney: Roger Johnson

Collector of Revenue: Brian McCollum

Missouri House of Representatives

45th District: Kathy Steinhoff

46th District: David Tyson Smith

Circuit 13 Judges

Division 2: Jeff Harris

Division 5: Kim Shaw

Division 9: Tracy Gonzalez

Division 10: Kayla Jackson-Williams

Division 11: Stephanie Morrell

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.
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