Personal information: I was born and raised in Southern Missouri. My wife and I now live in Douglas County on land my father purchased over 40 years ago. We have four grown children and one new grandson. I’ve been a small business owner and a real estate developer for over 30 years. I’ve also coached high school football and track for the last 17 years. I am a Christian and a conservative Republican who will always fight for the unborn, disabled and elderly. I will always protect property and privacy rights. I am committed to always being accessible.
Experience and education: I have a B.A. from Mizzou and an MBA from William Woods. I have served on many civic and community boards, including the Ozarks Medical Center board.
Thoughts about legislation that replaces local control with state control on issues related to such things as concentrated animal feeding operations and when school districts can start their year: I am a firm believer in local control. Not giving that control to county commissioners was a huge mistake in regard to CAFOs. Most land south of the Missouri River is geological karst, underlain with limestone, so a CAFO here would easily allow animal waste to enter our water supply. Schools should also have local control. What is good for some areas isn’t necessarily good in others.
What new ideas do you have for bringing new jobs to this area, especially Ozark County? As an Ozarks Medical Center board member, I supported the hospital’s current expansion, which now needs a bigger staff. We are currently recruiting employees from Ozark County. Agriculture is important to Ozark County’s economy. People move here because of economical land prices, but many have no land-management experience, and soon their land becomes overgrown with invasive vegetation. What I call “cowboy consultants” may show new landowners how to manage their property or, better yet, provide services such as brush hogging, bulldozing, fertilizing, livestock management, etc. People from urban areas are used to paying a good price for services.
What new goal or project do you hope to accomplish? Some people in Ozark County have to commute an hour or more to jobs they could do at home with proper internet. During the COVID shutdown, many students had to pick up hard copies of schoolwork due to lack of internet at home. Medicine is becoming telemedicine. Everything has changed due to COVID, and high-speed internet is imperative if communities want to move forward. Federal and state grants are available, but a representative and local leadership are needed to get those grants.
What distinguishes you from your opponent? I really want this job. I’ve put over 35,000 miles on my truck traveling the 1,900 square miles of the 155th District. I’ve gone to all the candidate forums and talked with those in county and city government and everywhere else because all opinions in this district are important to me. I look for what I can do for people, and I respectfully ask voters to consider who they have seen working hard to earn their vote.
Personal information: I was born in Mountain Grove and raised with four brothers on a beef and dairy farm in Douglas County. My parents instilled in me strong Christian morals and an appreciation for hard work. I’m the music director at Liberty Faith, where my family has attended for years, and I serve as director for Camp Joy Bible Youth Group.
Experience and education: After graduating from Norwood High School and attending Drury University, I graduated from the Springfield Police Academy and spent 16 years in Douglas County law enforcement, serving in communications, as a jailer, deputy and bailiff for the courts. I served in the Missouri House 2000-2008 representing the 144th District (Wright, Douglas and eastern Ozark counties). During that time, I was a member of Missouri State University Chancellor’s Advisory Board for West Plains and president of Wright County’s Association of Republicans Getting Everyone Together. I am a 20-plus year member of the Missouri Farm Bureau. After eight years as a state representative, I turned a passion for wood carving into a small business. Today, I see the good people of this district suffering from the lack of family-supporting jobs and a government that thinks removing freedoms and taxing paychecks is the answer. Government has become the problem. That’s why I’m running for Missouri Senate.
Thoughts about legislation that replaces local control with state control on issues related to such things as concentrated animal feeding operations and when school districts can start their year: Local farmers and educators better understand local needs. To have the state work against establishing higher standards makes no sense if it better serves the community. If I feel state legislation is more beneficial, I will meet with the citizens, make my case and work to achieve an agreeable result. We represent the people. They must be included in the process.
Ideas for bringing new jobs to this area, especially Ozark County? We must support existing small businesses, encourage local entrepreneurs and drive a stable local economy. Small business owners are hurting due to COVID. We must stabilize those first and demonstrate that this area supports local business and affords the freedom to pursue your dreams.
What new goal or project do you hope to accomplish? On my first day in office, I will introduce legislation to repeal Missouri’s state income tax – because government needs to keep its hands off our paychecks. If it works for Texas, Florida and Tennessee, it will work for Missouri.
What distinguishes you from your opponents? There is agreement when it comes to issues such as supporting the Second Amendment, supporting the rule of law and being pro-life. My distinguishing focus is on eliminating Missouri’s state income tax and improving rural broadband access, which is essential to families and small businesses, especially now, with many being home-schooled and working from home.
Election judge Sue Orf heads into the new polling place where Bayou Precinct voters will cast their votes in the Aug. 4 primary election. After using the Bakersfield Masonic Hall as a polling site for years, the Bayou Precinct will move to the FEMA shelter building at the Bakersfield School. Bakersfield superintendent Amy Britt said voters who need handicap access may park in the marked spaces on the southwest side of the FEMA building and enter the door nearest the gym entrance. Another access with steps on the FEMA building’s north side adjoins the gravel parking lot.
This week the Times is publishing “profiles” of 12 candidates running in five of the six locally contested races Ozark Countians will vote on in the Aug. 4 primary election. In next week’s Times, we plan to publish profiles of the three candidates running for Ozark County assessor.
As summer begins to wind down, many parents are wondering what the new year will look like for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lutie is the first of Ozark County’s five school districts to release its pandemic-responsive plans for the upcoming school year. The following guidelines were...
Tecumseh resident Robin Mustion grew up making wonderful memories helping tend and harvest large gardens that her grandparents, parents and other family members grew over the years. She’s carried the torch to develop her own gardens. Mustion said she’s tried a variety of planting methods, but her straw bale garden this year has been exceptionally successful. She says the humble planting medium is perfect for those looking for easy tending, and the bales elevate the plants a few feet off the ground, making them easily accessible to gardeners who may struggle to squat, hoe, till and bend. “You can do it from a chair!” she says.
Editor’s note: Square bale gardeners use a 10- to 12-day “conditioning process” to apply high-nitrogen fertilizer to straw bales, which helps decompose the interior of the bale, creating a rich planting compost medium. Details about the best type of fertilizer and conditioning schedule to use are...
Ozark County Health Department administrator Rhonda Suter said Monday that a third case of the COVID-19 virus has been confirmed here. The person is quarantined, and close contacts have been notified, Suter said, adding that the individual had visited two Gainesville businesses during the week...
Century Bank CEO Chris Harlin opens the old vault door in the former Bank of Gainesville building on the west side of the Gainesville square. The Harlin family has bought the old bank building and, where it is possible, plans to restore it to its original 1929 appearance.
The Harlin family is taking on a new restoration project in Gainesville. After recently buying the old Bank of Gainesville building on the west side of the square, Chris and Missy Harlin, and Chris’ parents, John and Linda Harlin, plan to bring the building back to the stylish appearance of its...
Gainesville resident Cooper High, 19, was transported by ambulance to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas, with serious injuries after he fell out of the back of a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado at 1:20 a.m. Saturday, July 18, near Pontiac.
According to the Missouri State Highway...
Tristan Wittkofski, 19, of Gainesville and Melanie Hann, 17, of Willow Springs, were transported by ambulance to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains after sustaining injuries in a single-vehicle crash Friday on Highway 181, about 2 miles south of Dora.
The online Missouri State Highway Patrol...
Timothy Sprague (Ozark County Sheriff's Department mug shot from December 2019)
Alleged murderer and kidnapper Timothy K. Sprague, 31, of Gainesville, was arraigned July 22 before Associate Judge Raymond Gross on charges of second-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery, two counts of kidnapping (leaving the state), unlawful possession of a...