State House candidates face off in Columbia

Jul 13, 2012

State House primary candidates for mid-Missouri's 44th and 47th Districts debated last night at a League of Women Voters forum at the Columbia Public Library. Among the hot topics: the federal health care law and how to maintain Missouri's aging highway system.

Four Republican primary candidates vying for the 44th District House seat went head-to-head in the debate, some even taking time to harshly criticize opponents on personal matters. All four Republicans were against the health care law and emphasized their hopes for a repeal, and they each offered ideas on how to fix the highways.

Two Democrats running for the 47th District seat, John Wright and former State Representative Nancy Copenhaver, took a different political approach and actually praised one another during the debate. Wright ended his closing remarks by saying he was grateful for being able to run against such a dedicated and accomplished woman like Copenhaver. Both Democrats agreed that it was time to focus on how to make the health care law work.

The winner of the 47th district primary will face-off against Mitch Richards, an uncontested Republican in the primary. The winner of the Republican primary in the 44th district will go up against Democrat Ken Jacob, a former state senator from Columbia. 

The debate hosted by the League of Women Voters was mediated by conservative talk show host Renee Hulshof, with about 100 people in attendance.