Newton County voters learn more about candidates in upcoming elections

Newton County voters got a chance to learn more about who they should pick for the upcoming elections.

Several candidates from Newton County took part in a forum to talk to local residents about their election goals. Those seeking the 32nd State Senate Seat explained their platforms. Republican Bill White who has reached his 8 year term limit for state rep wants to continue his work in the Missouri government.

"I think the big thing is that we put the Senate back to the way it's supposed to work. The Senate is not designed to be a leadership down affair. There's 34 senators. 34 senators should have 1/34th of the input,” says Bill White.

Former Chamber of Commerce president of Joplin Rob O' Brian is also seeking the seat looking to grow the area's economy with jobs.

"We always need to make sure the state of Missouri has good business climate, that there are jobs available for people here so they can take care of themselves and their families,” says Rob O'Brian.

And Green Party candidate Conon Gillis, the youngest ever to run for a Senate seat in Missouri is looking to improve education.

"Since I've been a teacher for the last 6 years I've seen there are some definite improvements that we can make. My number one actually deals with standardized testing,” says Conon Gillis.

And for state representative in the 160th district, Republicans Ben Baker, David Osborn, and Raleigh Drue Ritter, and Democrat Angela Thomas spoke to the crowd on why they would be the best in the position.

"As a candidate, we need someone that the people can relate to. You know, know what they go through on a daily basis,” says Ben Baker.

"Healthcare. I mean, healthcare has always been a big concern for everyone, and that truly is a grassroots movement to get true healthcare where people are wanting to be healthy instead of sickness care where they wait and get sick and go to the doctor,” says David Osborn.

"I'm going to do whatever I can to bring in big and small business and to help agriculture in this area to create more jobs,” says Raleigh Drue Ritter.

"In the past few years the government has cut a lot of programs and we need to get back in there and support our seniors, support our seniors, support our students,” says Angela Thomas.

Democratic candidate Carolyn Mcgowan for the 32nd State Senate Seat was absent. Residents also heard from candidates hoping to nab the Newton County clerk and associate circuit judge Division 2 Seats.

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