Missouri’s senior U.S. senator, Claire McCaskill, will face a conservative Republican for her seat in November. The question is, will it be Rep. Todd Akin, a representative since 2001 who is giving up his congressional seat to run for the senate, or St. Louis businessman John Brunner?
Both Akin and Brunner were both at a Republican forum Thursday night at the of the St. Louis County Library. More than 100 folks came on the frigid evening to the event sponsored by the Tesson Ferry Township Republican Club.
Each candidate running for office had five minutes to make his case. Akin and Brunner were first on the docket.
Akin explained how the deficit budget is heading the United States down the wrong path. He said if we got rid of the military, air traffic controllers, FBI, CIA, Department of Energy, Commerce, Labor, Justice… and a lot more, we’d just about balance the budget.
“In other words, everything we think of as federal government, right now is being financed by debt,” he said. “How long do you think that will continue, I don’t know.”
He said as a former engineer he thinks in terms of fixing problems. He said the principles he bases his problem-solving on are:
- Not artificially dividing Americans against each other.
- Being honest with Americans that the programs that are promised Americans can’t continue forever.
- God created each of us with a purpose, and there’s dignity in fulfilling that. Another group, “victims,” wants us to support them, and that group is growing, which is wrong.
Brunner began by telling everyone he learned valuable leadership lessons from being an officer in the U.S. Marines. He’s currently the chairman of a St. Louis manufacturing firm.
“I came into the plant floor, on the production line, driving the fork lifts, loading the trucks,” he said about his experience. “I know what it’s like to get a manufacturing team together.”
He said when his family hit tough times they pulled together and grew the company from 80 to 1,400 “associates.”
He said his real-world experience would help him create jobs better than a career politician could.
“I’ll match my experience as a manufacturer and a job creator against a politician that’s borrowing and spending anytime,” Brunner said.
Sarah Steeleman was invited, but was caught out of town in the bad weather.
Also taking part in the forum were:
U.S. House candidates for Missouri’s 2nd District:
- Ed Martin
- Ann Wagner (arrived late and didn’t speak to the audience)
- Randy Jotte (unannounced if he will run)
(Read about in Patch)
Missouri State House candidates:
- Gary Fuhr (not a candidate–he lost his district due to redrawn district lines, and has stepped down)
- Mike Leara, representative from Crestwood, Sunset Hills, Concord
- Cloria Brown, representative from Mehlville, Green Park and Lemay
- Marsha Haefner, representative from Oakville
- John McCaherty, representative from High Ridge, Murphy, Fenton
Cole McNary, representative for Chesterfield, running for state treasurer, also spoke.