Houghton to run for 3rd term as District 43 representative

Rep. Jay Houghton, R-Martinsburg, plans to run for Missouri House of Representative’s 43rd district for the third time.

The 43rd district includes the northern and eastern parts of Callaway County and the entirety of Audrain County. Auxvasse is within the district’s bounds, and Mexico makes up 30 to 40 percent of the 43rd district’s population, Houghton said.

Houghton said agriculture issues are a high priority for him as it’s the No. 1 industry in Missouri and, he believes, the 43rd district.

If elected again in 2014, Houghton said he anticipates continuing his work on the Right to Farm initiative, which would make farming a constitutional right in Missouri and, Houghton said, would ensure farmers to practice “conventional farming methods.”

Houghton compared farming to the right to bear arms in that they should be both viewed as constitutional rights. Right to Farm will be a 2014 ballot measure.

“It’s going to be hard to pass, but I think it will,” Houghton said.

The challenge with passing Right to Farm, Houghton said, is a “disconnect” between people in urban and the lack of a rural cultural understanding.

Houghton noted the veto override of Senate Bill 9 as a victory from the 2013 session. Senate Bill 9 was essentially an agriculture bill which outlined changes to foreign ownership of agricultural land, livestock stealing and the crimes of animal abuse, neglect and trespassing. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill, but with an override from the General Assembly, it was enacted into law.

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