Republican Susie Snyders enters her general election race against Democratic State Senator Frank Barnitz amid accusations by her G.O.P. primary opponent that she ran a negative campaign.
From the Rolla Daily News:
"They went negative," Merrill Townley, a veterinarian from Chamois, told our sister publication, the Waynesville Daily Guide, after the votes were counted. Townley, 71, served 20 years in the Missouri House of Representatives. "They had phone calls that made it look like I had never been to votes (in the House). It was a negative campaign. I didn't do that."
A dental hygienist and former campaign worker for Treasurer Sarah Steelman, Snyders is aiming to win the 16th district state senate seat, which includes Phelps County.
"Probably the biggest difference is that I have a diverse background and bring a different perspective. He has been a state rep in Jefferson City for years. I offer something new," Snyders told me in an interview Sunday evening.
Snyders said she couldn't say how she would have voted on the cuts to Medicaid, but added that she is concerned about healthcare access. "I wasn't there when they were making those decisions, so I'd hate to comment," Snyders said.
Snyders had no comment on a possible special session to reinstate some Medicaid cuts. "I can't comments on issues they're working on in Jefferson City right now," Snyders said.
But she did say "it would be a good idea to look at restoring some coverage to those who really need the help."
Barnitz, a socially conservative Democrat, voted against the Medicaid cuts and has signed a petition to call a special session this fall to reinstate part of the old program. "Just cutting the way we did wasn't the best for individuals or the state. If you listen to Republicans who made the cuts, even they understand that now," said Barnitz, who voted against the cuts.
"I don't think we need to go back so far for the whole thing. But for some of these working class people without assistance, they have gone from very productive people to people on the state rolls with no jobs, paying no taxes. Some are just wards of the state," Barnitz added.
On the two November ballot initiatives, Snyders stressed that she is "very pro-life," and will
therefore vote against a constitutional amendment to protect various forms of stem cell research. Barnitz, who also considers himself "pro-life," said he will also vote against the stem cell measure.
"Embryonic stem cells I just can't support because there is no scientific evidence or proof they work," Barnitz said. "I think from a scientific standpoint we can use other tests, like animal embryos and adult stem cells."
Snyders also said she would vote against a proposal to raise Missouri's minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50 an hour. Barnitz said he is still undecided on that issue.
"It might hinder bringing economic development to the community. That's our first priority," Snyders said.
"I think with the inflationary factors here, with 2 people working and trying to pay the bills and live, $5.15 is tough to do. But we also need to be careful not to raise it too high," Barnitz said. "I want to look at it more before I say I'll vote for it or against it."