Jul 31, 2020 4:55 PM

Four Democrats running to challenge Congressman Graves this fall

Posted Jul 31, 2020 4:55 PM

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Four Democrats vie for the party nomination in the Tuesday primary, each hoping to be the candidate to take on Republican Congressman Sam Graves in the General Election.

College professor Gena Ross of Platte City contends Graves complains a lot about how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the Missouri River, but doesn’t do anything about it.

“Business as usual is no longer acceptable,” Ross tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “It affects everybody. And just to sit there and not say anything or do anything about it or sweep stuff under the rug; if the Army Engineer Corps aren’t doing anything about it, stay on them, hold them accountable and make them do their job.”

Ross says education, health care, and infrastructure are big issues in this campaign.

Clark County School Board member Charles West, who works for a Canton construction company, opposes the move to defund the police, though he asserts there is too much police abuse.

“There does need to be a lot of reform when it comes to that, but defunding the police, no,” West tells Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “We need to have our police. That’s our law and order. Even though a lot of things we see aren’t right, that’s why I think there needs to be some new training coming on.”

West sees four main issues in the campaign:  education, infrastructure, health care, and jobs.

Educator and high school coach Henry Martin of Kansas City says he chose to run as a Democrat, because the party accepts people as they are.

“The United States is not a powerful country, because of our military and because of our freedoms,” Martin tells Birr on the Hotline. “Our real strength is in our diversity. The diversity of our nation gives us a unique perspective on the rest of the world.”

Martin, an Army veteran, emphasizes infrastructure, stating every dollar spent on infrastructure returns a $1.50 to $2.50 to the economy.

Donald Sartain, a former trucker from St. Joseph, has run as a Republican in the past, but switched parties to run in this race.

“I do largely support President Trump’s agenda,” Sartain tells Birr during his appearance on the Hotline. “The Republican Party, however, has historically desired to deplete the working class’ social safety net put in place by very hard effort.”

Sartain calls himself a conservative-leaning populist.

There is a 5th name on the ballot, but Ramona Farris suspended her campaign.