Two candidates are vying for a seat for the Missouri 8th Senate District, which covers most of Eastern Jackson County, including Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Oak Grove.

Two candidates are vying for a seat for the Missouri 8th Senate District, which covers most of Eastern Jackson County, including Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Oak Grove.

The seat is currently occupied by Matt Bartle, who is not running again because of term limits. No Democrats are on the ballot.

Libertarian Kevin Parr knows he has had an uphill battle in his race against Republican Will Kraus, but he is hopeful that people will forget party affiliation on Tuesday when they go to the polls.

“Most people have a Libertarian in them,” Parr said. “People say voting Libertarian is a wasted vote, but I think it’s the right vote for the people.”

Like he has said in the past, Parr, if elected, wants to align the state’s operation with the U.S. Constitution, ensuring that all “state mandated priorities are fully funded.” That means roads and infrastructure projects are paid for and completed, as well as local police departments and education.

He wants a fully-funded school formula and wants sweeping tax and regulatory relief for people and businesses.

Cutting specific programs is necessary, he said. That could include tourism services – a good example, he said, of government irresponsibility.

He said he wants to put an end to politicians and government officials deciding who receives tax incentives and tax breaks.

“We shouldn’t be giving incentives back to private citizens while putting the public at risk,” he said.

Parr said he would immediately focus his attention on the state budget, the school funding formula and lowering the state sales and income tax rates.

Parr said he holds Kraus accountable for his claims of not cutting taxes after saying that he has.

“In six years, I couldn’t find a bill where taxes were cut,” Parr said.

Kraus said he sponsored House Bill 82, which cut taxes for military retirees and removed a cap on Social Security.

“Over $19 million will be saved once it phases in,” Kraus said. “There aren’t many Republicans currently who can say they’ve recently cut taxes.”

Kraus, who defeated Bryan Pratt for the Republican nomination during the August primary, said he wants to focus on funding for education, lowering taxes that will improve the state’s atmosphere for economic growth and keep conservative values in government.

He wants to complete tax credit and welfare reform, moves he believes will help fix the state’s budget shortfall. He wants to use state revenue for critical areas, including infrastructure, military (which includes veterans) needs and programs and safety services like police.

Kraus is supportive of tax increment financing, but only after thorough examination of the project.

“I’m not against them totally,” Kraus said of TIFs, “but only when the budget isn’t as tight as it is.”

Kraus said he differs from other candidates because he is not your typical politician. Willing to discuss issues with people, Kraus said he’s gained a lot of his support from the Lee’s Summit community and that he doesn’t cater to special interest groups and individuals.

Kraus is endorsed by the Missouri Right to Life and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Parr listed no endorsements.