1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?
The primary responsibility of the Lieutenant Governor is to be ready to be Governor should the need arise. I am the only candidate in this race ready to lead from day one. As Missouri’s Auditor I ran a state-wide office with a large staff. Through the audits I personally led, I have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of nearly every department in Missouri state government and the problems they face.
2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponents?
It all comes down to experience. My opponents lack my level of experience in state-wide office, in the breadth and scope of working with almost every department in Missouri state government, and in large scale problem-solving at the state level. None of the other candidates equal my experience in business. As a CPA, a lawyer, and a small business owner, I've operated multiple successful ventures creating jobs, meeting payrolls, and providing for families. I’ve run statewide campaigns and I am also in the best position to win this November. For the primary election, I am polling 25 points ahead of my opponents, and I am first on the ballot on a list of 8 candidates.
3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues?
As Missouri State Auditor, I helped investigate the shortcomings of Missouri law when it comes to protecting our seniors. From issues on licensing of long-term care facilities to inadequate background checks, there are easily identifiable areas in which to concentrate our efforts. I will make it a priority to defend the rights of our seniors by advocating these necessary changes to our laws. Additionally, the Lieutenant Governor serves as an advocate for our veterans. I come from a military family and know well the sacrifices that our troops make for our country. There are a large number of returning troops and it should be a high priority for the Lieutenant Governor to push for benefits and job opportunities for them.
4. Why is the selection of the Lieutenant Governor important?
When you are electing someone who may be called upon to lead the state, you need to look at the office with the same seriousness as the top of the ticket. In addition to being the state’s advocate for seniors and veterans, the Lieutenant Governor also serves on a variety of important decision making boards, such as the Missouri Development Finance Board, the Missouri Housing Development Commission, the Veterans Benefits Awareness Task Force, and the Commission for the Missouri Senior Rx Program, among others. On top of that, the Lieutenant Governor also presides over the Senate and has a tie-breaking vote.
5. What will you do to advance the profile of your office?
The Lieutenant Governor already acts as the state advocate for both our senior citizens and our military veterans, but in my opinion the office has not adequately upheld these duties the past eight years. By making sure that our elderly are properly looked after and protected by the law, and by seeing to it that our military personnel returning from active duty receive all the benefits they so rightfully deserve, the Lieutenant Governor's office during my term will return to the stature expected of it by the people of Missouri.
6. How will you handle the schism between Republicans and Democrats in Jefferson City in order to get things done?
As State Auditor I conducted all department business on a non-partisan basis, investigating Democrats and Republicans equally. By working closely with all parties involved, our audits sometimes revealed no inappropriate actions or wrong doing. When those favorable audits focused on members of the opposite party, we were just as happy to report those findings. I also worked with both sides of the aisle on ballot initiatives. I have experience and a public record of working with 'the loyal opposition' and a well earned reputation of fairness. I'll take the same approach as Lieutenant Governor.
7. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.
As I’ve already stated, the Lieutenant Governor acts as an advocate for seniors and veterans and I will work to ensure that our vulnerable citizens are protected. The Lieutenant Governor also can and should work with the Governor to advance the policies of our state. The past 4 years have shown how a dysfunctional relationship between the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor is counterproductive to the practices of good government.
8. What particular strengths would help you defeat the Republican opponent in the November general election?
I am the best qualified candidate with the most experience of all four parties running in this election. As State Auditor I have executive experience leading a large, state-wide staff. One of the mandates of the Missouri State Auditor is to take the information gathered during our investigations and make recommendations on how to solve the problems we uncover. From day one as Lieutenant Governor I'll bring the answers we gathered in the auditor’s office to the legislature and start the process of making them into law, especially in the specific area of interest entrusted to the LG's office, such as senior citizens and military veterans. One of our biggest challenges in the upcoming election is getting out the vote. 2010 was an election where Democrats didn’t turn out – there were fewer votes cast than in 2006 and it’s even more apparent when you look at new voters registered in 2008. However, I’ve proven my ability to appeal to independent voters. In 2010 I outperformed the top of the ticket by 9 points.