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Wade Kiefer (D)

Josh Hurlbert (R)

SMITHVILLE — In the race to serve as state representative for House District 12, which serves Smithville, Josh Hurlbert, a Republican, and Wade Kiefer, a Democrat, face off in the Nov. 3 election.

Each candidate was sent a questionnaire asking the same district-related questions and allowed a 50-word limit per answer for fairness to in length to both candidates. Answers longer than 50 words are cut off at the end of the closest sentence with an ellipsis (...) in place of the rest of the answer.

Candidate responses are published in alphabetical order by last name.

Has the state adequately provided resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and provide for recovery efforts in House District 12? If not, how will you advocate for it to be changed, if elected?

Hurlbert: “Yes. The mantra to begin with was to #FlattenTheCurve. We have achieved that. (Intensive Care Unit) beds and ventilators remain available as our hospitals have not been overrun. Federal CARES Act funding has been adequately disseminated to the counties and cities to help our small businesses to recover from the pandemic.”

Kiefer: “Over $3 million has been redirected from just our local schools to fight COVID-19 without help from the state while the governor sits on $750 million he refuses to release. I will fight for our students and teachers so that they get the necessary funding for world-class schools.”

Do you support the proposed constitution and related changes to Clay County government on the November ballot? If the ballot issue fails, would you support legislation in the next session that would make changes to first-class counties like Clay County? If so, what changes would you support or sponsor?

Hurlbert: “I do not support the proposed charter. It makes no sense to me that you would clean up the Clay County courthouse by eliminating elected positions — and therefore public accountability — and instead increase the unaccountable bureaucracy. In Jefferson City, I would push to allow public recall elections of county commissioners.”

Kiefer: “I do support the proposed constitution to the Clay County government because the Northland deserves to have the right to control what happens within its boundaries and not be influenced by outside special interests. Our best days are ahead, and we deserve the ultimate voice in determining our path.”

Does House District 12 receive adequate funding for roads and related infrastructure? If not, what would you advocate to change and why?

Hurlbert: “(Missouri Department of Transportation) does not have the resources to properly maintain our infrastructure. The current model is failing as cars become more fuel efficient and regressively places the tax burden on rural and low-income families. We need to replace the fuel tax with a 21st century user fee model based on miles traveled.”

Kiefer: “Our roads and infrastructure are badly in need of funding and improvement. When we do get repairs they are barely enough and they come from borrowed money. As state representative, I will fight for fair funding for us so our children don’t pay the price later.”

Does House District 12 have adequate affordable housing? If not, what would you do at the state level to try and change this?

Hurlbert: “The 12th District is experiencing tremendous growth as housing supply has surged to meet demand. However, as we’ve seen in Seattle or San Francisco, local zoning ordinances and excessive permitting costs have priced people into homelessness. Builders need flexibility to meet the housing crisis, not increased regulation or cost increases.”

Kiefer: “Our community is fortunate to have rising home values and increasing prosperity. Part of keeping our district moving upward is making sure everyone here can afford to stay and prosper. I will fight for policies that don’t punish working-class families whether they own the place they call home or not.”

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at sean.roberts@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6606.

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