Henry Martin

Henry Martin, of Kansas City, announced this week his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the Missouri 6th District U.S. House seat.

As a candidate who had not before held elected office, Henry Martin spent much of his time in 2018 introducing himself to voters. He hopes that step won’t be necessary in 2020.

“When people know you and know what you’re trying to bring to the table, they have more questions and more input about what needs to be championed when I go to Washington,” he said while announcing his new candidacy this week.

Martin, the Democratic nominee for the Missouri 6th District congressional seat last year, will run for the same U.S. House position next year.

The Kansas City man wants to unseat Congressman Sam Graves, a Republican who has held the seat since 2001. Graves got 65 percent of the 6th District vote in beating Martin in November 2018.

An official launch will take place Saturday, Aug. 3, in Unionville, Missouri, in Putnam County. The 6th District stretches across the top of the state and includes all or part of 36 counties.

Martin said he decided to run another time to build on the momentum from his campaign in 2018.

“I believe it is winnable,” he told tNews-Press NOW “I think I did a whole lot of the groundwork to get things started, to lay the foundation for, ‘Hey, here’s a guy that’s real who’s ready to show up for you, the people.’”

An Army veteran from the Desert Storm era and a career educator, Martin said this campaign would continue to focus on issues such as infrastructure, health care, reform of the prison system and attention to good-paying jobs.

“How do we have so many people that are underemployed or can’t afford to make a regular living?” the candidate said. “We want companies making money. This is about giving the workers their fair share of the pie that has been created.”

While Missouri has turned into a “red” state, not having backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996, Martin insists a candidate from his party can have success in rural regions.

“I believe Missouri is filled with moderates that really are just looking for a candidate who’s ready to ride the middle of the road and give a little to get a little and not get into absolute politics,” he said.

Another Democrat, Victor Abundis, also has announced his intention to seek the nomination. He is also an educator from the Kansas City area.

Filing for this and other offices does not begin until Feb. 25, 2020.

Ken Newton can be reached

at ken.newton@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPNewton.