Incumbent vs. Challenger

Posted by: admin
Category: Campaign

​Last week, Dr. Gena Ross was given the unusual opportunity to appeal to undecided voters that she hadn’t previously reached. Ross and incumbent Sam Graves appeared on a morning radio show hosted by Jeremy Warner, news director of Northwest Missouri Public Radio.

Other than just being good publicity, this radio interview marks the first time that Ross and Graves have been heard in the same program. Before now, all communication from Ross and Graves has come from their respective campaigns, or independent interviews with media outlets. In this season of debates, it is easy to recognize the importance of hearing from both candidates at once. While the interview with Ross and Graves is far from a debate, it allows both candidates to easily summarize their stances on core issues. For Ross, this could be an important way to not only lend credibility to her campaign, but to attract undecided voters.


Photo by KXCV-KRNW.

If you’d like to hear what Ross and Graves had to say, click here to listen to a recording of the full interview. For this blog, we wanted to compare some of Ross and Graves’ answers to illustrate exactly why Ross is the best choice for Missouri. The bolded statements are each of the 5 questions that Warner asked the candidates, followed by a brief summation or paraphrase of the candidate’s answer.

What do you see as the biggest issue facing Missourians in district 6, and how would you go about fixing that issue?
Ross: The biggest issue is that some counties feel unrepresented and left behind by the current representation. There’s a lot of needs in northern Missouri, but not all of those needs can be addressed in the same way.
Graves: The economy is the biggest struggle for Missouri’s 6th district. People throughout the district want the same things: good schools, good roads, etc.

What is an issue that is important to you that you think Missourians should care about, yet you don’t see expressed a lot?
Ross: Climate change and renewable energy has been brought up by young people in my campaign, as well as expansion on COVID-19 aid.
Graves: Folks are pretty smart about what’s important. People should care more about terrorists and people that want to take our freedom.

In what ways will you reach across the aisle and work with the opposing party?
Ross: I will do what’s right for the people. I don’t care what party you’re in, if it’s best for the people, that is what I will support and work on.
Graves: National media doesn’t talk about bipartisan successes I have been a part of several bipartisan bills that have passed recently. You learn how to work with the other party to get things done.

What kind of legislation would you like to introduce to support those affected by the flooding of the Missouri river?
Ross: We need a bill that will check the river quarterly, or more often, to ensure that floods cannot ruin the livelihood of farmers. We need to help the affected people by any means possible.
Graves: We need to change the way the river is managed by the Missouri Corps of Engineers. This is something that I’ve been working on for some time.

Give us a brief sales pitch of what makes you the best candidate to represent MO-6.
Ross: I want us to be a unified district. I do not want any county left behind, and I wanted to lead by example. Communication and collaboration is important when it comes to our livelihoods, and we will thrive and move forward if we all work together.
Graves: I am home every weekend and that’s what keep me grounded. I do not represent Washington D.C. to MO-6, I represent MO-6 to Washington D.C.

In this interview, Ross’ interest of unifying the 6th district could not have been more clear. While Graves answered every question in a diverting manner, allowing him to give the answer he wanted to give, Ross was ready to answer each question to the best of her ability. Graves’ answers could have been acceptable, if this wasn’t his 20th year on the job. How can we trust him to pass legislation to protect those affected by the flooding of the Missouri River, when the flooding happened during his term and he has yet to provide relief? As Ross always says, business as usual is no longer acceptable.

If this interview provided you with insight on the upcoming election, tweet your thoughts to @Ross4Congress! And if you found Graves’ answers as weak as we did, make sure to vote for Dr. Gena Ross on November 3.

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