Members of Missouri’s GOP say private sector growth and working with Democrats across the political aisle are key focus points for Republican candidates this election year. More than 30 local Republicans gathered at a Columbia Hy-Vee Monday, where discussions at the Boone County Pachyderm Club focused on the state economy.
State Senator and Lieutenant Governor candidate Brad Lager says one of his main focus points on the campaign trail is the growth of the private sector: “The majority of jobs are created within small business," he said. "The majority of small businesses come because of entrepreneurs. So really, what we want is a culture and a climate where entrepreneurs want to come to our state, they want to stay in our state, they want to grow their businesses in our state, and unfortunately right now, that’s not the case.”
Both Lager and the evening’s other speaker, Don Bormann, acknowledged that simply putting Republicans in office is not enough to impact policy. Bormann is running for Northern Boone County District Commissioner, and says elected Republicans must be willing to work with Democrats on all levels: “The biggest challenge for both parties is…people are disgusted with how our government has failed to come to an agreement and get things done… You’ve got to be able to deal with the other party. When you’re too idealistic, sometimes you get nothing done.”
Bormann says his years as an alderman in Centralia have taught him the majority of people have little understanding of how their government works. He says state Republicans must focus on voter awareness of the issues so the party can sway the state’s many independent voters this election year.