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Meet the candidates for the 143th House seat that will be on the ballot on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

PHILIP LOHMANN

Tell readers a little about yourself.

PHILIP LOHMANN

My name is Philip Lohmann. I am 26 years old. I am a Christian. I have worked in factories, retail and fast food. Over the years I have worked with many people and each one has a story. I carry those stories in my heart and they help remind and motivate me to always be at my best. We are here to work hard and stand up for what is right. At least that is what I believe. Forgive me for being long winded as I list the reasons why I should perhaps be voted into office.

What prompted you to run for state representative of the 143rd District?

Back in late 2018 God spoke to me. He instructed me to attend the Republican Party Lincoln Days event in Springfield, Mo., for early 2019. I argued with God. I had no interest in politics at the time, much less any interest in spending a large some of my savings to go halfway across the state to go to an event. I made half-witted excuses to God. “I don’t have the time; I don’t have the money, and I’ve got no way to get there.” Next day at work my pastor friend stated that he was going to Springfield at the exact time the event was happening and asked if I wanted to tag along. My boss called me into his office and said I would be getting a raise and an extra week of vacation time. God then reminded me of the story of Johan and the whale. Taking this all as a sign, I reluctantly caved into what God wanted and went. At the event I was sick to my stomach by what I experienced. A cesspool of corruption and incompetence worse than I had imagined. When it was over I asked God, “why did you send me there? Those people are awful. They are so foolish and incompetent. I could do their jobs better than them! Oh no God. I take back what I just said. I am happy, I don’t have a care in the world. I have a good job. Unless I lose my job, I’m not running for office.” Not long after during the C-19 pandemic I lost my job. (Word of advice, don’t tempt the Lord.) Still, I argued. “Lord. I’m not a smart or wise man. I have autism, I am a poor speaker, how could I even speak to them?” I was then reminded of God’s talk with Moses. “Who made man’s mouth? Who made the deaf, the mute, the seeing or the blind? Did not I? Now go!” Now you know why I am running for office. I don’t know if God wants me to win and make changes in legislation for His plans or if he wants me to run for office just to humble me so as not to keep arguing with him. My advice, pray to God and ask him who he wants in office and go with what he picks.

What qualifications do you possess that will aid in representing the region in Jefferson City?

I am much like most people in the district. I am a simple, hard-working person, that stands with God and tries to do what is right. I know what it is like to have plenty, and I know what it is like to have little. So, unlike those other politicians that have forgotten what it means to serve others and put in a long hard day’s work, I haven’t. The redistricting itself is proof of my hard work. Phelps County was once divided by four house of representative members. The people despised this. After the U.S. census happened, I alone went and gathered a petition for redistricting. I gathered many signatures from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Constitutionalists and Libertarians. It wasn’t easy getting so many people with differing points of view to agree on something, but it got done. I then went up to Jefferson City and made the case for redistricting so the county could get proper representation. It was then redistricted into Districts 143 and 122.

What would be your top priorities?

1: Lower tax. Specifically, lower state gas tax and personal property tax. Once you own your land or vehicle, no more state tax on it. It’s your property not the government’s. Twenty-nine other states do it, so why can’t we?

2: School Choice: I am going to push for universal school choice throughout the state of Missouri. Parents have been demanding school choice since the 1970s. It’s time to live by a Republican platform and give the children a proper education. The money follows the kid. You can choose, private, charter, public, homeschooling, boarding, online or even community school. Whatever you the parent feel is best for your kid, that is what you should get. Also, Missouri’s eight state board of education members are appointed by the governor approved by the Senate. I am going to change this. There will be nine members, The people will vote on eight members in a statewide election. Meanwhile only one member will be appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate. The reason is to ensure the parents get a say in their child’s education. Also having an odd number of people will avoid deadlock votes. This way things will get done in the schools.

3: Lower the state crime rate. Violent crime, sex trafficking, drug trafficking of mainly fentanyl have skyrocketed. The borders are wide open. All the crime is pouring into the country. Our police are overwhelmed and defunded. I purpose refunding the police and I also aim to pass a state of emergency. Should it pass the state of Missouri will send between 2,000-4,000 National Guard to the southern border to assist border security. Provided those states agree to accept our help. Texas has already requested help and Florida’s governor is considering sending National Guard. So, we wouldn’t be alone in helping the southern border states. This will reduce the drugs and crime pouring into our county and to an extent our state. Not only this but we will revive Missouri’s state defense force. Their role will be to assist law enforcement in dealing with the domestic terrorists and gangs that are shooting up our state, kidnapping our children and flooding our streets with drugs. I will also expand a cyber security department so we can combat hackers and all forms of cybercrimes.

4: Election Integrity: We must reform some of the election process. Our state has done a good job pushing for voter ID and ending drop ballot boxes. But we can do more. Currently in the primary you are only allowed to vote on your political party ticket. We can change it to where you can vote in the primary for each party candidate nominee. The reason is a safety net. If your party loses an election you can at least have a voice in who should run on the opposition ticket. This will encourage candidates to focus more on issues that the left and right can agree on. The last thing we need is more division in our country and electing moderate candidates helps ease the tensions.

The second phase is a vote of no confidence. V.O.N.C for short allows you the voter deciding that none of the candidates presented on the ballot are good enough to be in office. With a majority vote be it in the primaries or general elections at the end of the year if the majority votes V.O.N.C none of the candidates will get elected. This safety net is primarily to help give a voice to the people. Many people have stated time and again that sometimes they get candidates that are not good and wished they could prevent them from being in office all together. It also helps motivate candidates that are running unopposed to still put an effort into their campaign to convince you they are still right for the job. No free ride into office for anyone.

The third is both expanding and redirecting the age to run for office. Currently you need to be 21-30 years old depending on office. I will change it to allow 18 to run for office. You are an adult at this point. If you can be drafted overseas to fight in a war you can run for office. However, there will be an age limit of 64. There comes a point when you must step down and pass the torch to the next generation. I have nothing against the elderly but when even the retirement homes start complaining about your age it’s time to smell the coffee. Even the military cuts it off at 64 and so should the state when running for office. Lastly, we will make it free to file to run for office. The state keeps raising the price to run for office. This makes it harder for poor and middle-class people to run for office and give such people a voice.

5: Childcare. Currently if you have no insurance it costs on average $15,000 to give birth in the state of Missouri. That is insane. I purpose that all costs for giving birth in Missouri be tax deductible. The reason is that helps prevent poverty. It also helps encourage the mother not to get an abortion. I am Pro-Life. To pay for this we can easily tax cigarettes and gambling as needed to cover the costs. I also purpose a $500 monthly tax credit to parents for each child. Hey kids are expensive, and you know it. Tax cheap plastic and glass as needed, and it will cover the cost.

What is the biggest problem facing our region and how would you fix it?

1: Crime. (See answer on crime above)

2: Better schools. Push for school choice. Sadly, the state average for our schools lists that only 42-45% Missouri students can read, write or do math at grade level. We need to try something new.

3: Homelessness. The reason many are homeless is because it is too costly to afford a house, apartments or trailer. I aim to incentivize the development of homes, apartments, and trailers to help increase the supply and as a result lower the costs. Supply and demand control the price of everything in a market economy.

Do you favor continuing to provide funds to school districts for minimum teacher salaries?

Yes I do. I want good teachers to get a raise and better benefits. Since the 1960s government spending on schools has increased 250% but teachers’ salaries have only gone up 8%. Meanwhile inflation is getting worse every day.

If elected, how will you stay in touch with constituents?

Through social media, mail, news, public events, email, and phone that can be accessed by the people in my district.

Anything else?

If you are still with me. Thank you for your time. This last bit will be dedicated to why I believe we need education reform and school choice. Government spending on schools has gone up 250% since the 1960s yet every year they get worse. It’s not a money issue, it’s a what’s being taught in schools’ issue, and we all know it.

Our schools have failed to teach our kids what they need in life and here is why. They weren’t taught how to get a job, but they can remember dissecting a frog. They weren’t taught how to pay tax, but they know loads of Shakespeare’s classics. They weren’t taught how to vote; they devoted that time to defining isotopes. They weren’t taught how to look after their health, but microcoria is the powerhouse of the cell. Never spent a lesson on current events. Instead, they studied the old American West. They are never taught what laws there are. They are never taught what laws there are. Let me repeat they are not taught the laws for which they live in, but they know how Henry VIII killed his women. Divorced beheaded died, divorced beheaded survived. Glad that’s in their head instead of financial advice. They are shown the wavelengths of different hues of light, but they are not taught their basic human rights. Apparently there’s 30, do you know them? They don’t. Why the hell can’t we both recite them by rote? They know igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Yet they don’t know squat about trading stocks. Or how money works at all. How does the thing that motivates the world function? Not to budget and disperse their earnings. They are too busy rehearsing cursive.

Didn’t learn how much it costs to raise a kid, or what an affidavit is, but they spent days on what the quadratic equation is. Negative B plus or minus the square root of B squared minus 4 A C over 2 A. That’s insane, that’s absolutely insane. They made you learn that over basic first aid. Or how to recognize the most deadly mental disorders, or how to but a house with a mortgage, if they could afford it. Cause abstract math was deemed more important than advice that would literally save thousands of lives. But it’s cool. Because now they can tell you the number of unnecessary deaths caused by that choice being prime. Never taught present day practical medicines, but they are told what the ancient Hippocratic method is. They’ve got a headache, the pain is ceaseless, what should they take maybe try some leeches? Could we discuss domestic abuse and get the facts? Or help their depressed friend with a mental state? Umm. No, but learn mental math’s because you won’t have a calculator with you every day. (Holds up cellphone) They say it’s not the kids the parents are the problem. Then if you taught the kids how to parent that’s the problem solved. All this advice about using a condom but none for when you have a kid when you want one. They are only fluent in this language, seriously? The rest of the world speaks two do you think they’re idiots? They choose the solar over the political system so like a typical citizen now they don’t know what their voting on. Which polices exist, or how to make them change? So, at 18 they are expected to elect a representative for a system they have never ever been presented with. But I won’t take it. I’ll tell everyone their childhood was wasted. I’ll share everywhere how their being educated and insist these pointless things don’t stay in school. If you can’t explain why a subject is useful to most people’s lives, that subject shouldn’t be mandatory. Introduce those topics, yes, but we should choose if we want to learn more. Nobody should be forced to learn things that isn’t practically useful. So, before you spend another $2 billion dollars on CRT and Gender Theory let’s reform the schools first. Vote for Philip Lohmann for School Choice.

BENNIE COOK

BENNIE COOK

Tell readers a little about yourself.

My wife, Amanda, our children and I live on a farm outside of Houston, where we enjoy educating our children on the value of hard work. Our entire 18 years of marriage, I have been a commissioned Deputy Sheriff with the Texas County Sheriff’s Department. During this time, I have also volunteered as the Emergency Management Director for Texas County and the City of Houston. I had the opportunity to be the Director of the Texas County Food Pantry and Salvation Army for 4 years, before joining the Congressman Jason Smith Team as a field representative/constituent specialist. I currently serve as a Board Member for the Houston Lions Club, the Houston Bright Futures, the Texas County Farm Bureau and Oak Hill Christian Church.

What prompted you to run for state representative of the 143rd District?

I am currently the 142nd District State Representative, which represents Texas, Phelps, Howell and Pulaski counties. This year due to changes in the population the district changed. The 142nd District became the 143rd District, which consists of Texas County, western Phelps County and all of Maries County.
I made the decision to run for re-election after discussing it with my wife and children. I felt there was more I could work on in Jefferson City to help our area. Now more than ever we need someone who goes to church in this district, someone who raises a family in this district and someone who works in this district to be up in Jefferson City standing up and fighting for our rural common sense conservative values.

What qualifications do you possess that will aid in representing the region in Jefferson City?

While serving as the State Representative for the area, I have learned a great deal during my first two years. My previous work history definitely prepared me for the job, but you always learn more quickly on-the-job. I currently serve on the following committees Public Safety, Professional Registration, Health & Mental Health & the Joint Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Awareness.
During my time as a Constituent Specialist for Congressman Jason Smith, I worked with state and federal agencies to conduct casework for constituents of the 8th Congressional District. Each case was different and required research into the issue. Some cases required in-depth research into Missouri State Statutes or the Code of Federal Regulations. Some cases would require a law to be updated, new law introduced to fix the problems or for a federal department to work on the case for the constituent. Additionally, my 18 years in law enforcement have required understanding and constant exploration of Missouri State Statutes to effectively serve the citizens of the area. I believe that through these positions I gained invaluable experience above and beyond all other candidates for State Representative of the 143rd district.


What would be your top priorities?

I still have several top priorities. I want to ensure that we continue to defund Planned Parenthood and get at-risk mothers to resource centers that can help them care for themselves and their new baby.
I want to ensure that our Second Amendment rights are never infringed upon. I will fight any legislation that tries to take gun rights away.
We need to improve access to healthcare in our rural areas, by working with our hospitals to retain high quality physicians, nurses and healthcare staff.
We must continue to work on providing our children quality education and training to provide job and life skills yielding productive members for our community.
I will continue to support our law enforcement and emergency services. They are a critical component to our daily lives and deserve to receive resources needed to provide services for their community. Many departments are currently staffed by volunteers within the 143rd district, the least we can do is provide them with training and equipment necessary for success.
Last, but definitely not least, as your State Representative my main priority is to help the folks of the district. My office and my cell phone are always available. If you are having issues or concerns with the government, you can always contact me. Me and my team will always be there to help.

What is the biggest problem facing our region and how would you fix it?

We have a few big problems facing our area. Many current issues stem from the federal
government regulations. Inflation is hurting all of us and we need to save America in 2024, before we lose our homes and businesses.
I cannot fix Washington, D.C., but at the state level I can work on removing regulations that hinder hard working citizens to do their jobs.
Another problem that continues to face our region is the lack of people in the workforce. I plan to work on welfare reform again next year. The government has to stop incentivizing people to stay home.
Finally, a major problem facing our area and all of Missouri is crime. Drugs have become a problem nationwide and fuel much of the crime in this area. While we must expand drug treatment facilities, we also need to ensure that criminals understand there are consequences for their actions. I have met with law enforcement and prosecutors, and have introduced truth in sentencing legislation. This requires the offenders to serve a larger percentage of their sentencing, decreasing chances of early release.

Do you favor continuing to provide funds to school districts for minimum teacher salaries?

At the state level, we must have a balanced budget. This year, the state received a large amount of federal funding. Schools received more funding than in previous years, but that money will go away. We must find new ways to provide for our schools with less federal funds to distribute in the future.
I do support salary increases for our teachers. We must find a way to reward our quality veteran and new teachers for educating our children. During this next session, I will work with my colleagues to find solutions to assist our educators. If any teachers or school staff would like to meet to discuss this issue or other issues, please contact me at 417-260-2382 or bennieleecook@gmail.com


If elected, how will you stay in touch with constituents?


During my first two years in office, I utilized social media, phone calls, meetings and newspaper press releases to stay in contact with constituents. During the last two weeks of July and during October/November, I will be traveling the district conducting mobile offices. This is a time where residents can stop by and meet with me to discuss issues, questions or concerns they have with the state or federal government. As always I am always willing to meet with constituents by phone or in person to help with any issue.

Anything else?


In conclusion it has been an honor and privilege to serve as your State Representative. During my first term in office, I worked on legislation to protect our first responders, reform our welfare system, secure our elections, increase access to healthcare and reduce burdensome regulations. I took an oath to support the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Missouri, and I will continue to fight to ensure no one takes our freedoms away. I humbly ask for your vote and support on Tuesday, Aug. 2, to re-elect me as your State Representative for the 143rd District.

Candidate Christopher Davis, the third candidate, did not respond to the survey.

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