Jeanie Lauer of Blue Springs, the Republican incumbent in the 54th District of the Missouri House of Representatives, is running against Democrat Sherbaz Khan of Kansas City for the new District 32 seat.

Jeanie Lauer of Blue Springs, the Republican incumbent in the 54th District of the Missouri House of Representatives, is running against Democrat Sherbaz Khan of Kansas City for the new District 32 seat. The district encompasses most of Grain Valley and Oak Grove, the northern and eastern parts of Blue Springs and the unincorporated areas of Jackson County north of those three cities. Lauer, a former Blue Springs City Council member, is founder and owner of The Management Edge, a business consulting firm, and is president of the Timothy Lutheran Church congregation. Khan, who owns and operates an automotive repair and sales company, did not respond to repeated requests to answer the questionnaire.

Jeanie Lauer

1. What do you see as the key issues in the 32nd District for this election?

“Education is the most important thing, especially with the judge’s ruling of Blue Springs accepting students from the unaccredited Kansas City district. We have to find a solution that works for everyone. And it certainly has to do with jobs. A big issue is decreasing red tape and regulations for small businesses. These small businesses spend a lot of time on red tape and we need to get them back to what they do best. We have to support local businesses like this because these are the true economic driver in the area. If we don’t support them, it could be the downfall of our community. … Another issue in the district is health care, especially with the potential sale of St. Mary’s (Medical Center), the acquisition of that and what it would mean to our area. It’s a concern for someone who, say if they live in Oak Grove, how far would they have to go to get quality health care if we lose St. Mary’s. We have to look at what makes the best sense for everyone.”

2. What did you learn from your first term in the Missouri House of Representatives and how will it help you if you are elected again?

“I have been building relationships across all lines and working with various government agencies. I was able to get a bill through and signed by the governor (Kelsey’s Law, which allows law enforcement agencies to track cell phone in case of emergencies). … And during my first term I have been talking to all the business people in the community and finding out their needs and what is going on in this district. It’s the same with schools, the fire district and other needs in the community.”

3. What separates you from your competitor?

“First of all, I am a resident of this district. I have served it in many capacities, so I have a great understanding of what the communities in it need. And I have the experience there as a legislator. I know the community and what its needs are.”

4. What do you think should and can be done to boost economic development and jobs in the 32nd District and in Missouri?

“Again, it has to do with decreasing regulations for small businesses. They have to have the support of various agencies, not something that hinders them. We need to look at economic development, what would get people back to work in the trades, in jobs like welders and truck drivers. The (Missouri Innovation Park) in Blue Springs could have a significant positive impact. That’s another level of life science and it will need a skilled workforce, and that ties back into the education part of economic development.”