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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: Trudy Busch Valentine

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Ellie Lin

Trudy Busch Valentine is the democratic candidate for U.S Senate. She's running against the current Missouri State Auditor Eric Schmitt.

Briana Heaney: What are some of your favorite things about Missouri, and especially mid Missouri?

Trudy Busch Valentine: So my favorite things about Missouri are the seasons. And now getting into autumn and seeing the color changes. It's incredible. Missouri is a magnificent, magnificent state, and I love it. And I love the people in Missouri. I've loved being able to get around and listen to people in Missouri. It's been the greatest time of my life to be able to talk with so many people and hear their concerns and their issues and their hopes and their dreams.

Briana Heaney: What are some of the most important issues on your platform?

Trudy Busch Valentine: Well, I think the important issues on my platform, particularly because Roe v. Wade was overturned is the freedom for women to choose the health care they need. So that's a big one. Now, as I've been getting more into the rural areas in the farmlands around Missouri, there's been a big, big question about communist China owning farmland in Missouri. And so that's, that's now something that's become a bipartisan issue. And that we, we should not be selling so much farmland to foreign countries, and we should definitely not be selling farmland to communist China.

Briana Heaney: So if you win, you will be the second Missouri woman to have gone from nursing to politics. At the same time, many rural hospitals have closed from both a nurse and a policymakers point of view, what needs to change?

Trudy Busch Valentine: You know, everyone needs access to affordable and quality health care. That's a must, from birth through death. And yes, you're right. A lot of these small hospitals in rural America and rural Missouri have been closing. And it presents a big problem for people that are living in those areas. Sometimes they can't even get an ambulance for an hour when they're having a stroke or heart attack, there's a golden hour that you need. In order to save someone's life. We need to start looking into why they're closing what's going on. Because I'm a nurse, I feel strongly that nurse practitioners should be able to practice autonomously in Missouri. Our nurses, nurse practitioners in Missouri are going to Kansas and Illinois to be able to practice, at least we could get good health care from nurse practitioners in the rural areas.

Briana Heaney: Okay, what motivated you to make the switch from nurse to politician?

Trudy Busch Valentine: Well, you know, I've been an out in and out of nursing my whole life, because I've also raised six kids in between. And because my husband died when our youngest was six, but I've always gone back into nursing, have learned more have kept up with St. Louis University School of Nursing, what they're teaching, what the students about are about the faculty. And I see nursing as a total form of service of giving back to others. And I see politics as a form of service being to help others give back to others on a bigger scale, and I thought this could be the one last thing I would do with my life in order to help others.

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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