Gary Dusenberg, Republican

Bobby Foster, Libertarian

Mark D. Matzeder, Democrat

1 Why do you think you are the best choice to represent the 54th District?
Foster: I think I would make the best choice because the other two parties haven’t done there jobs and the people don’t really have much to lose in choosing someone fresh and new.
Dusenberg: I believe I have had life experiences that enhanced my commitment to community service.  I also have had the privilege for the last six years of the experience of the legislative process. I believe I reflect the values of the people of the 54th district and of Eastern Jackson County and have represented their views over personal gain or ambition.   
Matzeder: As a first-time homeowner who has toiled in private sector, blue-collar jobs for most of my adult life, I can better identify with the thousands of Eastern Jackson County families whose lives have followed that same path.

2 What issues will you prioritize if elected?
Foster: Government spending, taxes and education would be my priorities. The spending and the taxes are major fixes for the economy and a serious cut would draw businesses to start up or move here generating much needed jobs. Education is a priority because I have a daughter and I’m a concerned parent that wants the best for her and the rest of the children in Missouri.
Dusenberg: Ensuring the schools in Eastern Jackson County have sufficient funding to continue the excellent education of our children and grandchildren. Supporting policies that reduce taxes for our seniors and enable them to have access to quality health care. Also, encouraging utilization of alternative energy sources in the State of Missouri and improvement of infrastructure across the state.  I will continue to support legislation that benefits the many veterans that have served our country. 
Matzeder: Number One: restore healthcare for 100,000+ children, seniors, and disabled persons affected by Medicaid cuts. Secondly, ensure that Missouri's Public Schools are fully supported. Finally, we must work to attract more jobs that pay a living wage.

3 Would you classify yourself as a conservative, moderate or liberal, and why?
Foster: I’m a libertarian that means I’m a conservative liberal. Some people don’t exactly fall into the two-dimensional line of left side liberal to right side conservative.
Dusenberg:  I consider myself a common sense conservative.  By this I mean, I believe in less government, less taxes and fiscal responsibility, especially with taxpayers dollars. I am pro-life, believe in English as the official language, and believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. 
Matzeder: I dislike labels, and these are three bandied about in American politics with little regard for their actual meaning. I am moderate enough to work with anybody to achieve the best good of Missouri and the 54th District.

4 What can state lawmakers do to boost the local economy?
Foster: Lawmakers can give us a balanced budget with lower taxes to attract business and eliminate hindering laws based on morals or environmental beliefs.
Dusenberg: I have had the great privilege of working closely with our communities and local government officials. We need to continue the ongoing progress of growth and development in Eastern Jackson County by business incentives to attract new businesses and quality jobs to the area. When opportunities develop, all local legislators need to support these community leaders in a team effort at the state level.
Matzeder: We must move toward maximum employment by balancing incentives for employers – especially small businesses – with protections for workers. Nothing stimulates an economy like workers with disposable cash.

5 What are the most significant differences between you and your opponents?
Foster: The most significant difference would be they are a part of the big power brokers that have messed everything up and I am not.
Dusenberg: I am uncertain as to where my opponents stand on many issues. My general philosophy is being fiscally responsible with taxpayer monies, ensure lower taxes, less government intervention and downsizing government when feasible, access to primary and secondary education for all our children, and providing a safe environment for our citizens by being tough on crime. 
Matzeder: Probably philosophy of government. I do not believe that “Government” is the problem. Government is how we, as a People, achieve what we cannot do individually.

– Jeff Martin