Three candidates are running against incumbent U.S. Representative Sam Graves for the Republican nomination of Missouri’s 6th Congressional District seat. On the Democratic side, only one candidate is actively campaigning, and there is one Libertarian candidate.
• Christopher Ryan, a U.S. Marine veteran with a degree in public administration from Liberty, said he is running because of the increasing federal debt and spending. “It has truly grown out of proportion. I have two kids and they will later face an insurmountable debt.”
Ryan said he is seeking a self-imposed single term of service as a U.S. Representative, if elected. “We’re obviously not seeing fresh ideas and perspective (in Congress). I have respect for the working man and woman. A lot of our reps rely on their staffers.”
• Brian Tharp, owner of FT Trailer Manufacturing in Rockport, wrote that he is running because he is “frustrated by the fact we continue losing businesses and jobs in our district, which continues to encourage the population declines in 95 percent of the counties.” Another reason he pursuing the 6th District Republican nomination is because of Graves’ voting record.
“Graves has voted for (bills) that concern me: The Patriot Act, extension of the Patriot Act, NDAA, Real I.D., NAFTA and CAFTA.”
Tharp wrote that he believes he would do a much better job of “representing our children and families, our businesses, as well as our cities and counties.”
“I want to be in a position to make a difference for people in our District, and I refuse to place corporate greed and profits above our children and families.”
• Kyle Reid, an electrician and farmer in Louisiana, Missouri, said he challenges Graves because he wants to uphold the Constitution or “the America as we know it today will not exist.”
“There are a lot of unnecessary spending and programs and overreach of the Judiciary and Executive Branches.” He also said he is really concerned about the Environmental Protection Agency trying to impose new environmental regulations that he says a lot of small towns and farmers cannot afford to comply with.
He added the biggest difference he has among the other challengers is being not afraid to voice exactly how he feels about an issue. “I’m not afraid to speak up, but also not afraid to listen, either. I’m pushing for smaller government, more liberty and respect to property rights.”
• Sam Graves wrote that he is seeking another term because he wants to “continue the fight to stop what is clearly an out of control and out of touch Obama Administration.”
“One glaring example is the recent proposed rule by the EPA to give bureaucrats in Washington a stronger foothold in our backyards. I am proud to have led the fight against such bureaucratic overreach as Chairman of the Small Business Committee and will continue to do so as long as I represent the hard working men and women of North Missouri.”
Graves said voters should choose him to be the Republican nomination in November because they “know I am a tested conservative and know that I work very hard on their behalf in Washington and serve as their voice in Congress.”
“They know that I am the person in this race that has the proven ability to go to Washington and deliver their message of protecting our liberties, reining in the out of control spending we see in Washington, and ending the burdensome regulations that make it harder for individuals, small businesses and family farms to succeed.”
• Bill Hedge, of St. Joseph, also ran in the district in 2012 but lost to Kyle Yarber. He is an educator and pastor at St. Francis Baptist Temple. He has called himself moderately conservative. His campaign website lists his key issues as raising the minimum wage, helping to facilitate access to the Affordable Care Act and improving the law. On abortion, he supports “women having authority over their own bodies” according to his website.
• Edward Dwayne Fields and Gary Lynn Crose are also on the Democratic ballot, but have not actively campaigned.
• Russ Monchil is the lone Libertarian on the ballot.