I am running for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri because I believe this is a great state and Missourians deserve a better, brighter future. It is my job to listen, lead and deliver for the citizens of the Show-Me State.
We need to do better in education, from early childhood to grade school and college. We need to do better for those working two jobs and still not making ends meet. We need to do better to help those starting and growing their own businesses. And we need to do better in rebuilding the middle class.
Growing up in Rolla, a small town in the foothills of the Ozarks, I learned the value of public service and giving back to your community watching my father, Mel Carnahan, work on our local school board. He believed that public service was a high calling that was worthy of his time and talents. Public service and good government start with integrity and trust. As Lieutenant Governor I will work every day to clean up the mess in Jefferson City where too many of our elected officials are far too disconnected from the concerns of ordinary Missouri citizens.
My career has spanned business, law and public service. I was first elected to the Missouri House in 2000 from a diverse urban district. Then I served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005 to 2013 representing a district that included urban, suburban and rural constituents who were a reflection of the diverse population of the state of Missouri. During those years, I developed a reputation for listening, connecting with people, building coalitions and getting things done for the people I had the honor to represent.
While in the Missouri House, I was honored to receive the Missouri Bar Legislative Award for leadership in passing improvements to the Missouri Crime Victim's Compensation Fund and the Justice Integration Fund for better coordination of information between courts, prosecutors and law enforcement. Also, the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association presented me with their Lewis and Clark Statesman Award and the St. Louis Business Journal their Legislative award for supporting economic development. I was especially proud of my bipartisan leadership role to establish the Missouri Childhood Lead Testing Program to identify at risk children.
While at the U.S. House, I served on the Veteran’s Affairs committee, where I fought for better health care for our veterans and was one of the only representatives to earn a perfect A+ score from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. I led the effort to address problems at St. Louis' John Cochran VA Medical Facility, where patients and staff had raised concerns about poor patient satisfaction ratings and quality of care. And I fought to make sure our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to succeed – not only while serving in the field, but also when they return home.
One of my first votes in Congress in 2005 was to ensure that our state’s transportation needs are funded. This bill brought jobs to Missouri for the expansion, maintenance and construction of our roads and bridges around the St. Louis area. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I championed cost-effective ways to improve transportation. I authored bipartisan legislation that would have bolstered economic growth by helping communities keep bus and train lines running at no additional cost to taxpayers, and I spearheaded efforts to fund improvement projects that are fixing dangerous roadways – including some rated among the deadliest in the country. I worked to position Missouri as a global leader in clean energy research, innovation and production, particularly in the area of biofuels. And my Energy Innovation Hub legislation would jumpstart the development of transformational energy technologies by helping more technological breakthroughs from the research and development phase to the market.
All of these efforts are aimed squarely at one thing – serving and delivering for the people of Missouri. I believe that we need bold leaders willing to think big, take on the real problems and listen. Together, we can revive the principles and trust that make our great state even better and our citizens’ futures even brighter. Together, we can focus on cleaning up the political mess in Jefferson City, giving students an opportunity to have a great education, creating good paying jobs and investing in our infrastructure by repairing the roads and bridges that are the backbone of our economy.
Missouri has provided my wife Debra and me with so much opportunity. During my professional career, I have been a practicing attorney, including serving on a legal aid panel representing low-income clients. I served as director of government relations for one of our state’s largest health care systems. Now Debra and I operate a small business. We live in St. Louis City, and our family farm is in Phelps County south of Rolla. We want to make sure that our sons, Andrew and Austin, have great opportunities, too. Together, we can make sure that the next generation of Missourians is better off than the last.