Democratic Rep. Charlie Dake (#132) said he will vote for a ballot initiative to increase Missouri's minimum wage, but is strongly opposed to a separate initiative to protect various forms of stem cell research.
Dake, who is being challenged by Republican Don Ruzicka this November, is a prime target for the G.O.P. because of the conservative demographics of the district.
Still, Dake has been able to neutralize conventional attacks lobbed by Republicans on social issues. Dake is pro-life and against gay marriage. He said he is against any type of embryonic stem cell research.
"If it has got any embryo involved, I'm against it," Dake said in an interview. "But I am for stem cell research, of the umbilical cord."
Multiple calls to Ruzicka for an interview over the past four days have not been returned.
Dake acknowledged he wasn't able to accomplish much as a freshman in the minority, but said he fought hard for senior citizens and the poor.
"I didn't accomplish much but I voted to increase Meals on Wheels, but they only ended up getting the status quo funding," Dake said. "We tried to get more money for home health care. One of the things I did help get through was an assisted living bill which helps give more guidance and help to residents in those facilities during emergency situations."
Dake said he will again have a tough battle on his hands come November. "There will be a lot more voters this time, but we have a lot more endorsements," Dake said.
When asked about his similarities with Republicans on social issues, Dake said he doesn't run on Republican values. "I run on my values," Dake said. "It just so happens my values are sometimes shared by Republicans. I just have more compassion for seniors and the handicapped."
Dake said he is planning to appear at an event with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, Auditor candidate Susan Montee and Attorney General Jay Nixon on Saturday, Sept. 23rd.