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MO8 Candidates Square Off In Tea Party Forum

Candidates for Missouri’s Eighth congressional district seat squared off in a forum Wednesday evening at the Cape Girardeau Public Library.

The forum was sponsored by the Cape County Tea Party, and questions for the candidates definitely favored Tea Party ideals. When asked if the candidate would support legislation that funded Veterans Benefits at the expense of funding a mandate the constituents deemed unconstitutional, specifically Obamacare, Republican Jason Smith said he would work to alter the legislation.

“What they’re going to have to do, and what I would do, and what I’ve done in the Missouri House is to fight over and over with amendments to try to take out the unconstitutional provisions,” Smith said. “That’s how I would be trying to clean up the legislation so you could actually pass it where it’s constitutional.”

Democrat Steve Hodges said that although he agrees with a few aspects of the Affordable Care Act, at this present time he would not vote on a bill that subsidized it.

“I think it puts a tremendous financial burden on small businesses, and small businesses are the backbone of our country, the backbone of our economy here in Southeast Missouri,” Hodges said.

During the closing statements candidates had the opportunity to review their platform. Hodges decided to stress the importance of social programs for the elderly.

“Two of the things that are going to be very important as I look about this room, I see a lot of grey hair. Social Security and Medicare. I know that my mom and dad depend on that. They’re both eighty-six and they’re in great health. And I think it’s very important that we preserve those programs,” Hodges said.

Smith said upholding our promise to the elderly was important, but so was being honest with all constituents.

“We also need to uphold the truth. What I will tell you, I have served in the Missouri House for the last seven years with this gentleman. I’ve passed numerous pieces of legislation to reduce burdensome rules, to balance the budget, to reform entitlements. I passed those bills,” Smith said.

Smith and Hodges were joined by Libertarian candidate Bill Slantz, Constitution Party candidate Doug Enyart and write-in independent candidates Dr. Robert George and Tom Brown.

The special election will take place June fourth.

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