The race for 32nd District state representative pits an incumbent Republican who has taken generally conservative positions in the legislature against a Democratic challenger who takes a somewhat more liberal tack.
However, neither candidate is strictly orthodox in following the party line.
Jeanie Lauer was elected in 2010 to represent the 54th District in the Missouri House. However, redistricting in 2012 put her Blue Springs home in the 32nd District, and that is the seat she is running for this year.
Her opponent is Andy Herman of Grain Valley.
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On this year’s big issues, Lauer supported legislation that will cut the top individual income tax rate from 6 percent to 5.5 percent starting in 2017, provided state revenue is growing. It also provides a 25 percent deduction for business income reported on personal tax returns.
Lauer also voted for mandating a 72-hour waiting period for abortions.
She voted for the 2014 gun bill that lowers the age to apply for a concealed-carry permit from 21 to 19. It also prohibits cities from banning open-carry laws and allows teachers and school administrators acting as school protection officers to carry firearms. She also voted to override Nixon’s veto of the gun bill.
However, Lauer voted against a bill that would have allowed students in failing school districts to receive public funds to attend nonreligious private schools. And she was among the minority of Republicans to vote against “right-to-work” legislation that would strip unions of the power to compel workers in union shops to join.
Lauer did not respond to a questionnaire from The Star, but Herman said he favors Medicaid expansion as envisioned in the Affrordable Care Act.
He favors legislation to provide for medical marijuana use to decriminalize pot possession.
“Small amounts of marijuana take up a lot of law enforcement officers’ time,” Herman wrote.
Herman favors limiting the value of gifts that lawmakers can accept from lobbyists and limits on campaign contributions, but he was skeptical that lawmakers would approve it.
“We all know that this will never happen,” he wrote.
As for the 2014 abortion legislation, Herman called it “a terrible mistake.”
“In certain instances, an abortion may be necessary. The woman has the right to make their decisions, as long as they are of legal age and are mentally competent,” he wrote.
On other issues, however, Herman takes conservative positions.
He said he favored the 2014 income-tax cuts with this caveat: “We must be cautious about how we proceed, as it could cost Missouri if we follow Kansas legislation.”
Herman said Missouri lawmakers should try again to sanction federal agents for enforcing federal gun laws with some sort of nullification bill “so Missouri can create their own gun laws.”
“Every Missourian has the right to bear arms,” he said. “Except those with criminal history.”
And Herman said favored voter ID laws, writing that “a legal photo ID and a voter card is all that is needed.”
The Star’s Jason Hancock contributed to this report.
Address: 1413 N.W. Wildwood Drive, Blue Springs
Occupation: Founder and owner of The Management Edge
Education: Bachelor’s in mathematics, Southeast Missouri University; MBA, Central Michigan University
Previous public service: Missouri House, 2011-present; Blue Springs City Council, 2008-2011; Blue Springs Planning Commission
Address: 901 N.W. Poplar, Grain Valley
Occupation: Real estate broker and developer and general bail bond agent
Education: Bachelor’s in criminal justice, Central Missouri State University (now UCM)
Previous public service: None