Three candidates are running in the November general election to represent Missouri's 3rd Congressional District: Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Democrat Megan Rezabek and Libertarian Leonard Steinman.
Luetkemeyer, of St. Elizabeth, was first elected to the position in 2009. He said his top three priorities if re-elected will be continuing to work on financial service issues, continuing to work on river issues and invest in water resource infrastructure, and continuing to listen to the concerns and interests of constituents.
Steinman, of Jefferson City, is a retired truck driver and frequent candidate for political offices. He said his top three priorities if elected will be to hold only a two-year term, that "nobody will be in the Senate or in the Congress that took a deferment of any kind during the Vietnam draft," and that he will be friends with everybody no matter their political party and answer everyone's questions as fast as possible.
Rezabek, of Imperial, is a building maintenance worker and political activist. Some of her key issues are workers' rights, more unionization and raising the minimum wage; climate change and the Green New Deal; justice reform that protects people of color; and campaign finance reform that keeps money out of politics, she told CMNI in August.
Rezabek did not respond to multiple attempts by CMNI to be included in this article.
Luetkemeyer is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions.
"We're looking at some bills that would be important to financial institutions from the standpoint of forbearance to try and fix the problems with regards to regulation," he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the issue of lack of broadband internet access, Luetkemeyer said, and he believes this issue is important to constituents — especially those who live in rural areas.
Luetkemeyer said if he were to grade the federal government's response to the pandemic, he would give it a B+ because he believes the government has made each decision based on the information available at the time.
"We've learned a lot about the virus and how it behaves and how we can react to it, and I think they've done a good job of allowing the science to drive the responses, and I think the president and administration has done a good job from the standpoint of them getting our country back up and running," Luetkemeyer said.
Steinman said he would grade the federal government's response to the pandemic as a zero.
"Donald Trump should be taken out of office," Steinman said.
Steinman said he believes Missouri's state government response to the pandemic has been ineffective and that people should stay home as much as possible and wear masks to combat the coronavirus.
"Gov. Mike Parson did not listen to me, and guess what he's got? He's got the virus, his wife's got the virus, because they didn't wear their masks where they were supposed to wear their masks," Steinman said. "That's not a good indication of leadership."
Luetkemeyer, who serves on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, said he will push for legislation that will get hospitals and schools back on track and to address the economic issues the country is still facing.
"There are still a couple of areas, a couple of industries, that are still hurting, and the people in those industries are hurting, and we need to be able to take care of those," he said.