Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Missouri’s incumbent Attorney General Chris Koster and Secretary of State candidate Jason Kander stopped at Sir Winston’s banquet room in Fulton on a campaign tour of the state.
There, both Democrats stressed the bipartisan efforts they would bring into their respective offices.
A former Army Captain who served in Afghanistan investigating corruption in the Afghan army, Kander said he has spent his tenure as Missouri 44th district Representative the same way he would perform as Secretary of State.
“As the chief elections official, you’re in a good position to advocate for the importance of clean elections, and I think that (those) start a long time before election day,” said Kander. “I think the true fraud in our system is in campaign finance laws, so as Secretary of State I will continue to advocate for that and work in a bipartisan way to get it done.”
Kander noted his opponent in the Secretary of State race, Republican Shane Schoeller, led legislation to change the absentee voting process in Missouri, including making it impossible to submit a ballot by mail. Kander said he led a bipartisan effort to halt the legislation, noting that 320,000 Missourians — 12,000 of whom were in the Armed Forces — mailed in their ballots in 2008.
“If it hadn’t been for the absentee ballot, I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to participate in the democracy I was there to protect,” said Kander. “... and now he wants to be Secretary of State and implement a plan like that, and it’s real personal to me.”
Kander then handed the floor off to Koster, whom he says represents and protects Missourians regardless of political affiliation.
Koster is rounding out his first term as Missouri’s Attorney General. A prosecuting attorney in Cass County for about 10 years, he inherited the office from Gov. Jay Nixon, whose 16-year tenure was the longest in Missouri history. Koster recalled a hand-written letter he found in his desk from Nixon the day he moved in, outlining the mission statement of the office.
“‘Always remember this office is here to speak for people who don't have a voice in this world,’” quoted Koster.