The election might be 20 months away, but a race has taken shape for the Missouri 6th District U.S. House seat.
Victor Abundis, an English teacher at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, has announced his intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the congressional position.
He hopes to be able to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Sam Graves, who went to the House in 2001.
“Perhaps more than ever, America’s economy is not working for all,” he said in announcing his candidacy. “While wealth is concentrated in the hands of very few, middle-class Americans wake up daily worried about how they’re going to pay their bills.”
Abundis claims his lessons in this have been hard-won. Though having three college degrees and working in education for 15 years, he fell behind in paying student loan debts and lost a home to foreclosure.
He said the experience left him “bruised and humbled.” The candidate insisted he would make the economy the central issue in the 2020 election.
“I’m tired of representatives in Congress giving tax cuts to the wealthy and serving the interests of corporate lobbyists while the people across northern Missouri suffer economically,” Abundis said.
The Democrat said working as a teacher has given him insight into dealing with all types of people, from students to educational colleagues to parents. With this background, Abundis believes he can forge alliances in Congress with Republicans and members of his own party.
“Politics does not need to be vitriolic and divisive,” he said. “I stand ready to go to Washington to do the people’s work and cultivate common sense policies that work for all the citizens of northern Missouri.”
Abundis said he knew raising money will be difficult for a Democrat looking to unseat a Republican. He has opened an account at gofundme.com under the name “Vic for Congress.”
In an interview with News-Press Now, the candidate laughed, “We have raised $150 so far.”
He added, though, “We’re hoping to compete like heck in all 36 counties that make up the 6th Congressional District.”
His fundraising would come from “genuine people,” he said.
“There is an opportunity for change when we get all the dark money out of politics and when we get all the corporate funds out,” Abundis said. “I want to be someone who’s an average American, a public school teacher, who goes to fight hard for the citizens of northern Missouri.”