The Emanuel Cleaver-versus-Jacob Turk matchup feels like “Groundhog Day” for voters in Missouri’s 5th Congressional District.
They have been the Democratic and Republican candidates on the ballot since 2006, and this is their fifth go at it. Cleaver, the incumbent, was first elected to Congress in 2004.
Acknowledging “the legislative branch of the federal government is broken,” Cleaver nonetheless vows to continue to fight from the minority Democratic caucus for immigration law changes and an increase in the federal minimum wage.
Turk, whose best showing was in 2010 when he received 44 percent of the vote, says Cleaver has been in office too long and “doesn’t listen to people anymore.”
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The district was redrawn after the 2010 census and includes more suburban and rural areas, but it still leans Democratic with the Kansas City population base south of the Missouri River.
Redistricting resulted in Turk living in the 6th District, but he says he can still effectively represent the 5th District. Members of Congress are only required to reside in the state in which they are elected.
Cleaver is an advocate of restoring civility to a Congress bitterly divided by partisanship but says people should not expect much progress on the Democratic agenda.
He sits on the House Financial Services Committee. He supported the federal stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act.
Cleaver is enthusiastic about bringing federal money home to his district, including tens of millions for the Green Impact Zone in Kansas City. He also points to his addendum to the Farm Bill that allowed retroactive compensation for farmers hurt by the drought of 2012.
Turk emphasizes that he is not a career politician, but he has been running for office for eight years.
He believes over-regulation and interference by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are deterring job growth.
Turk would like to see the Affordable Care Act replaced by a system with less federal regulation. He opposes federal programs that encourage dependency among people.
Cleaver’s campaign reported raising more than $848,000 in this congressional term through September.
Turk’s campaign reported raising more than $101,000 through September.
Also on the ballot is Libertarian Roy Welborn.
To reach Matt Campbell, call 816-234-4902 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: Kansas City
Occupation: U.S. representative, United Methodist minister
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Prairie View A&M; master’s in divinity, St. Paul School of Theology
Previous public service: Elected to Congress in 2004; Kansas City Council; Kansas City mayor
Address: Lee’s Summit
Occupation: Leadership and educational consultant
Education: Bachelor’s in engineering, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Previous public service: None
Address: Kansas City
Website: Facebook: Roy Welborn for US Congress Missouri District 5