Gary Cross is running on his record representing Lee’s Summit in the Missouri House while challenger Ken Duvall is running against it.
Cross, the incumbent 35th District Republican, is seeking a third term and points to bills he’s sponsored.
Duvall, the Democratic candidate, said the Republican-dominated General Assembly has given tax breaks that favor special interests over the average Missourian.
Cross, a real estate investor, said his experience in the legislature and in small business makes him the better candidate, Duvall, a lawyer who defends businesses in litigation, said his work gives him knowledge of a wide array of businesses and brings him up to speed on the economic climate.
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Cross touts a bill he introduced to increase the federal income tax deduction on the state tax return to $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a couple.
“I will bring it back,” he said.
Cross sponsored a bill that became law to require parental permission for youths using tanning beds, to protect them from risk of skin cancer. He said he was instrumental in getting legislation passed to allow creation of the University of Central Missouri’s Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit.
Cross said he worked with both parties in those efforts.
He said he’d work to reduce payroll taxes for small businesses and target job-killing regulations and frivolous lawsuits that cause businesses and health care providers to leave the state.
“We need to make this state a come-to state to bring more business and more employment,” Cross said.
Duvall said his priorities are jobs, schools and aid for senior citizens.
He is for expanding Medicaid with federal money, a step Cross is against.
Duvall said he agrees with the Lee’s Summit and Missouri chambers of commerce, which also endorsed expanding Medicaid. It would result in more jobs and could help older adults with affordable health care, he said.
“It’s not enough to be against a program because it’s from the federal government,” Duvall said. “The question is always, is it good for Missourians?”
Duvall said triggers included in income-tax legislation passed this year were purposefully set low enough to be easily reached by inflation. The cuts will give big breaks to businesses and high-income earners, he said, squeezing an already- tight budget.
“That was very irresponsible,” Duvall said. “It’s taking us down the path of Kansas.”
He said tax cuts benefit business owners with a 25 percent reduction on business income for personal returns, while an average Missourian gets only a half-percent cut.
Cross voted for the 2014 income tax cuts.
Duvall supports same-sex marriage and says women’s health decisions should be their own, not the legislature’s.
Cross voted to extend the waiting period for abortions to 72 hours.
Age: Did not disclose
Address: 2605 N.W. Lookout Ridge, Lee’s Summit
Occupation: Small-business owner
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Central Missouri
Previous public service: Missouri House, elected 2010
DEMOCRAT Ken Duvall
Address: 721 N.E. Tudor Road, Unit 5, Lee’s Summit
Occupation: Business lawyer
Education: Law degree, University of Virginia
Previous public service: None