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Kunze, Higgins announce they will not seek re-election

Kunze, Higgins announce they will not seek re-election

February 21st, 2018 by David Wilson in Local News

<p>Democrat photo / David A. Wilson</p><p>The &#8220;Spiritual Strings&#8221; provided the musical interlude for the Moniteau County Lincoln Day event.</p>

Two Moniteau County elected officials gave notice they will not be running for another term.

The announcements were made Feb. 17 at the annual Lincoln Day meeting of the Moniteau County Republican Party. Presiding Moniteau County Commissioner Kenneth Kunze and Circuit Clerk Michelle Higgins will not run for another term. Both were elected as Republicans. All of the other serving county officials up for election plan to run for another term.

Following the welcome, and the Pledge of Allegiance, the "Spiritual Strings" provided the musical interlude for the event, which was held at the United Church of Christ friendship hall.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson served as the main speaker. Parson, who won a campaign for Missouri lieutenant governor in 2016, was first elected as a Missouri state representative in 2002 and later a state senator.

He lived in Polk County, where he had been sheriff, after being an investigator for the sheriff's department, following several years as a deputy sheriff. He started his law enforcement career in the U.S. Army, where he served as a military police officer.

Following his introduction by 58th District Rep. David Wood, R-Versailles, Parson spoke about going back to the people around the state and thanking them for what they stand for — Christian values, morals and love of the country. He said actions speak loud.

"If it's illegal, you're not supposed to be doing it," he said.

One thing that can be done is to start preparing the younger generation for jobs. He said there are more than a million drawing some kind of benefit from the state. He spoke of the reasons people have as much and are able to do as much as they can — it's what the people have done, what the parents and grandparents of the current generation have done, and what the forefathers did.

All of this keeps America's dreams alive. As far as the political arena is concerned, he said, "No one is going to make us happy all of the time. The perfect candidate is not out there." That is because no one is perfect. "We have a serious problem. We tolerate too many things."

He said political figures should be held to a higher standard.

"What is right is not always politically correct and what is politically correct is not always right," Parson said. "There is a difference between a politicians and a statesman. A politician worries about the next election. A statesman worries about the next generation."

Parson said when he is out of office, he hopes he will be remembered as a statesman.

Several candidates were present for short words of introduction.

Seeking the nomination in the primary to run against Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., were retired Air Force Lt. Col. Paul Monetti and small business owner Austin Petersen. Parson spoke for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who is also a primary candidate for that race.

John Webb, who is challenging Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo. 4th District, spoke.

Paul Curtman is running for State Auditor.

Wood and Rep. Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, are seeking another term.

Recently-appointed Circuit Judge Matt Hamner and recently-appointed Associate Circuit Judge Aaron Martin both spoke briefly. Pam Green spoke on behalf of attorney Ann Perry, who is running against Martin for the associate judge position.

Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, who is not able to run for District 59 represenative again due to term limits, announced that he is seeking the senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, who is also leaving office due to term limits.

County officials also spoke, including recently-appointed County Collector Ellen Ash, who is seeking election to a full term.

The meal was prepared by Tom Huhmann.

The Republican of the Year plaque was presented to former state Sen. Larry Rohrbach.

Winner of the drawing of the traveling George and Barbara Bush House slippers was Nicholas Althoff. He will be the proud caretaker of the rotating door prize for the next year.