After easily winning a primary challenge from an opponent largely backed by wealthy “right to work” proponents, Republican incumbent Bill Kidd is running for re-election to the Missouri House District 20 seat.
Kidd, of Independence, faces Sibley Democrat Mike Englert, a former Independence Municipal Judge who has maintained a law practice on the Square.
After his primary win over Chris Dale in a race in where he was targeted largely for voting against the right-to-work legislation – he simply voted what his constituents wanted, he has maintained – Kidd said he hasn't scaled back on his campaign and continues to knock on doors around the district.
“You act like it's the bottom of the ninth, there's two outs and you're a run down,” he said. “That's how you do it.
“Everyone's always concerned about the economy and jobs. We're in a poorer district, so they're definitely concerned about jobs.”
Englert, a lifelong Independence area resident and graduate, ran for the Missouri House a quarter-century ago in a different looking district. He said he had no initial intention of running for this seat but was approached by local Democrats to consider filling a party gap on the ballot.
He said some constituents who are Democrats have been willing to talk, but discontent with the biggest races perhaps has made voters weary and quiet about races such as this one.
“This is a strange election year,” he said. “Once they get down to me, hopefully the Democrats vote for me.”
Meanwhile, Kidd said constituents have found the presence of a face-to-face candidate refreshing compared to loud TV ads and big rallies.
“Everyone's glad to see you – somebody at the doors,” he said. “I'm just representing all the people in the district; that's my No. 1 priority, I'm not trying to build a political career.”
Kidd said that, if elected, he plans to tweak legislation he introduced last session that's designed to eliminate the property tax for those over 65 years of age who have lived in a fully paid-for house for at least two years.
“Right now we have people who have lived in their house for 40 years, paid their house and done everything they're asked to do, and now their property taxes are higher than what the payment used to be,” he said. “When on a fixed income that's tough.
“It's something that will take a little education, but we need to have people that live in their homes and not rent it from government. We can do that, we have the resources (in the state).”
Kidd also wants to bring back consideration for Simon's Law, which would require medical facilities to have written permission from a parent or guardian in order to cease treatment of a minor.
Checking the money
According to Kidd's October quarterly report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, his campaign began the last quarter with $34,253.77 on hand, received $10,250 and spent $8,605.21.
Contributions include: $2,500 from Friends of Todd Richardson; and $1,000 each from Friends of Glen Kolkmeyer, Missouri Medical PAC, Citizens for Dogan, AT&T Missouri Employees PAC.
Englert's campaign had received $1,640 with no expenditures according to its July quarterly report – all donations of $250 or less outside of $490 from attorney Ralph Monaco – and filed a limited activity report for October.