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Once again, it's Brown vs. Harding for representative

Jason Brown
Meg Harding

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

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,” stated Brown.

The amendment will contain three clauses: “Once funds are appropriated for education, no governor can withhold any funds for any reason, period,” explained Brown.

“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,” stated Brown.

Brown also plans to tackle welfare reform if re-elected to office.

“We haven’t solved the welfare problem in the state and we desperately need welfare reform in the state,” said Brown. “I’m 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 opposites.”

“She has run for this office five times and has only been elected once. There’s a reason for that, and it’s because she’s too liberal and not what people in this county want,” said Brown.Brown responded to Harding’s 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, it’s 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 issues.

“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 wouldn’t 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 wasn’t doing their job.

“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 Harding’s platform. For her, health care shouldn’t be recognized on a person’s 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 parties.

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 Harding.

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 Health Appropriations.

Harding lives with her husband, Stan Halpin, in Kansas City.



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