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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: Henry Martin

Two speech bubbles on a purple background. There is a brown and gold podium in front of the speech bubbles with a spotlight on it. At the top of the image, it says "candidate conversations" in all-caps.
Ellie Lin

Melanie Oliva: What motivated you to run for office?

Henry Martin: Quite honestly, it was something that I thought about a long time ago, but when you're young, and you're listening to the massive amounts of money that people are spending on these campaigns, you're like, "There's absolutely no way on this planet I could do something like that." And with the advent of technology and seeing, and Barack Obama's ascension to office, I'm impassioned. I believe in public service, I believe in the power of government to change people's lives. I was inspired to get in it, particularly after the 2016 election. That was the one that, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Melanie Oliva: What do you believe are the core responsibilities for someone elected into this office?

Henry Martin: Primarily bring home the bacon, if you will. I believe that the best governance is local. So I will never, I will never get on board with anything where there is a quote unquote, "Only way to do things from the federal government, mandates from the federal government," because each state and each locality is different. But I do believe that through the allocation of funding, we can genuinely help some of our smaller areas.

Melanie Oliva: On your website, your final message states, "No special interest is too big to take on. No party leader is too powerful to stand against. And no Missourian's problem is too small to matter." Could you talk us through what that means to you?

Henry Martin: Nobody, I think has absolute power in government. And I would be one of 435 voices in the House of Representatives. I don't have a problem speaking truth to power. When it comes to advocating for the people, I will be duly elected to serve opposing bills for partisan reasons. It's not my cup of tea. I will oppose a bill if it's not good for the 6th District. It was not good for the state of Missouri or it's not good for the United States of America, but everything else is negotiable within reason.

Melanie Oliva: And I read that you became a math teacher and you coached high school sports. How was that experience contributed to fighting for the state of Missouri?

Henry Martin: Sometimes I get a little emotional. Sorry.

Melanie Oliva: It's okay. Take your time.

Henry Martin: Um, you get to know kids outside of the regular classroom. So, you learn things that you're not always prepared for. Every educator that hears this is probably thinking the same thing. They learn things about their students, that they're not totally prepared to hear. We are mandated reporters. We hear the hardships, we see the hardships. So, my time in teaching has given me a compassion for those things because not everybody is at the same place. Not everybody has the same ability and not everybody has the same capacity.

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