In the race for the 10th District State House seat, a newcomer is challenging a well-known St. Joseph representative.
Republican Bill Falkner is finishing up his first term in the Missouri House of Representatives and wants to continue working on local control for the St. Joseph Community.
“I think people that live in an area should be over their area and what St. Louis does is fine for them, but maybe not fine for St. Joseph,” Falkner said.
Before becoming a representative, Falkner was the mayor of St. Joseph for eight years and ran a plumbing shop with his dad for almost 50 years.
“I’ve been working on tax initiatives reform,” Falkner said. “We need to reign them in a bit and tighten some of the legislation on them to where they’re beneficial, but not acting in a negative way to the community.”
Democrat Colby Murphy said he decided to run for office because it’s a chance to help people. Murphy graduated from Missouri Western State University with a degree in political science and is working on his master’s in public administration.
“I saw this as an opportunity to step up and do more of what I know I can do,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he thinks he’s a great candidate based on his experience working in health care as the executive director of the Medicaid and veteran affairs division at Freudenthal Home-Based Healthcare.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have affordable and accessible health care for every Missourian and American in this country,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s other focuses will be on education, supporting unions and small businesses and equality.
“No matter what I do, equality is always in the forefront of my mind and how to make life better for people of color, minorities, women and LGBTQ+,” Murphy said.
Falkner also wants to continue to pursue legal ramifications of what Senate Bill 5 did as far as failures to appear. One of the bill’s provisions allows municipal courts to withhold tax refund money from offenders.
“We need to rework that to where it brings back accountability to some people and allows our police department to catch and make sure people are brought to justice,” Falkner said.
He wants also to work on passing a bill regarding online sales tax and is working on getting a second bridge to go across the Missouri River that will give access to the Rosecrans and 139th Airlift Wing. Falkner is looking to serve more terms if reelected, because he knows items he’s working on may take two to four years to get passed.
“The benefit that I have is relationships in Jefferson City with other representatives now and so we can come together and try to figure out what’s best,” Falkner said.
If elected, Murphy would like to continue going further with his political career and said he always will focus on getting bills passed and making a difference.
“My whole point has been to become the best that I can be so that I can help others, because I want to serve,” Murphy said.