by Kim Fickett
Republican Jason Brown, 30th district state representative,
will seek re-election at the polls on Nov. 2 in
a race against challenger Meg Harding, Democrat.
Brown, 34, who defeated Harding in 2002, is running
for the same reasons as in the 2002 election.
I made three promises when I ran in 2002.
And the reason to run again is the same,
said Brown. We are getting the state to
run in a good direction.
Brown identified those three promises as helping
senior citizens by freezing their property taxes,
opposing more taxes and helping to fund education.
If re-elected the first thing I will do
is submit a constitutional amendment to go in
front of the people to guarantee funding of education,
The amendment will contain three clauses: Once
funds are appropriated for education, no governor
can withhold any funds for any reason, period,
Education is funded first before anything
else and finally education will receive the largest
portion of the budget before anything else.
Brown plans to make education the number priority
in the State of Missouri.
Right now the welfare budget is larger
than the education budget. This constitutional
amendment will not allow that to happen,
Brown also plans to tackle welfare reform if
re-elected to office.
We havent solved the welfare problem
in the state and we desperately need welfare reform
in the state, said Brown. Im
against expanding the benefit packages of welfare.
I feel we should encourage people to get off welfare
and not stay on it.
According to Brown, his opponent is on the complete
opposite of the issues that face Missouri residents.
She is an advocate of large government,
more taxes, and non-traditional marriages,
said Brown. Two years ago we were totally
opposites and to this day we are still complete
She has run for this office five times
and has only been elected once. Theres a
reason for that, and its because shes
too liberal and not what people in this county
want, said Brown.Brown responded to Hardings
latest mail piece regarding allegations that he
used tax dollars to fund a flat screen television/monitor
in his office, and cutting welfare for children
in the district.
These are the issues my opponent wants
to talk about because she has no answers to any
of the issues, said Brown.
Brown and his wife, Rachelle, live in Platte
City with their two children, six-year-old Alayna
and three-year-old Caleb. He graduated with a
bachelor's of science degree from Northwest Missouri
State in Maryville, and a master's in public administration
from Drake University in Des Moines, Ia.
Being a state representative is more than
a job, its a commitment to the people of
this district, said Brown.
For 59-year-old Meg Harding,she says her campaign
centers around a main goal.
My overall, arching goal is to provide
the best possible representation to the people
of the 30th district, said Harding.
According to Harding, what falls underneath that
main goal are three separate but equally important
My first goal is to fully fund education.
Our education formula is under funded by $600
million, said Harding.
If the state representative does his/her
job in funding education, the task of funding
education wouldnt fall to the local level,
continued Harding. We had a lot of local
(tax levy issues) this past year in Platte County,
including both the North Platte and West Platte
School Districts. The reason they had to do this
is because the legislation wasnt doing their
Our education system needs to be competitive
within the state, nationally, as well as in the
world. We need to make sure our kids are getting
a quality education.
Health care is the second concern that tops Hardings
platform. For her, health care shouldnt
be recognized on a persons class or stature
in the community.
We need to make sure that everyone has
equal access to health care. I believe health
care is a right, stated Harding.
For Harding, town hall meetings will once again
become a priority if she is elected to office.
I believe in listening to the people in
the district, said Harding. We need
to make sure the public process is maintained
and make sure that everybody has a chance to have
their voices heard. Respecting that process is
really important to me.
People want the government to be accountable
to them. And I believe we are our own government.
Harding stated she will offer town hall meetings
across the 30th district to update citizens on
what bills are going in front of the legislature
and to maintain open communication between both
For Harding, her government experience, volunteer
experience, and her years as a teacher and in
the business world she says will make for
a good mix of experience for this position.
All of these are critical experiences for
serving someone in the 30th district, said
In her 20 years in Platte County, Harding has
served on the boards of directors, or as an active
member, of more than 40 organizations, including
gubernatorial and mayoral appointments to several
state and city commissions. She was elected to
the Missouri House of Representatives in 2000
and served for two years. While in office she
also served as vice chair of the House Committee
on Critical Issues, Consumer Protection and Housing.
Harding also served on the House Committees on
Elementary and Secondary Education, Elections,
Environment and Energy, and Health and Mental
Harding lives with her husband, Stan Halpin,
in Kansas City.