Residents of Missouri state Senate District 11 will finally get a new senator in January after their former senator resigned in disgrace more than a year ago. Three senate districts in the Kansas City area offer voter choices on Nov. 8.
▪ District 7: State Sen. Jason Holsman, a Democrat, offers sensible counter-balancing arguments to the extreme rhetoric sometimes used by conservative Republican majority members in the upper chamber. He has been effective in building consensus on issues such as supporting renewable energy. He is a strong proponent for fully funding public education and for addressing climate change through measures that would create good jobs and better health for citizens.
Holsman has earned re-election.
Jeanne Bojarski, a Libertarian who is also on the ballot, has run unsuccessfully for many other offices.
▪ District 11: Democrat John Rizzo made it into the state House of Representatives through fraud. He won his initial primary in 2010 by one vote, and it was later proved that two of his relatives voted illegally to boost him to victory. Rizzo narrowly won in the general election that year and ran unopposed in both primary and general elections in 2012 and 2014, but as he stumps to become the next senator from the 11th District, he has to explain why he was the top recipient in the House of lobbyist gifts in 2014.
Rizzo strongly opposes right-to-work efforts and supports expanded health care for Missourians.
Brent Lasater, who served one term in the House before redistricting, is running as a Republican, but his independent thinking and actions while in Jefferson City earned him a maverick label by party leaders. Lasater will be outspent by Rizzo, but he notes that he was outspent 60-to-1 in his successful House race. We endorsed him in the 2010 primary, and after he won election he impressed with his accessibility to constituents and his accurate reflection of their concerns.
▪ District 17: State Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Republican, is in line to become appropriations chairman in the Senate. He said he would make that good news for Kansas City when funding is dispensed. Backed by a broad array of endorsements from labor unions to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Silvey’s top priorities next year would be crafting a balanced budget, fully funding education and gaining acceptance of a sustainable state transportation plan. Silvey is the choice over J. Rainen Bechtold. The Democrat is an Army veteran who supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a ballot measure to allow retail workers to organize and universal child care initiatives.