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Columbia Missourian

Local Democrat Sean Spence announces candidacy for 25th District

February 21, 2008 | 8:01 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — For Sean Spence, the time to run is now.

The local democrat announced his candidacy for Missouri’s House of Representatives 25th District race on Thursday at the Pasta Factory.

“I’ve wanted to run for this seat since I was 18 years old,” Spence said.

Spence, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003, said he could not afford to wait any longer to run.

“While (the disease) does not affect my ability to do what I do, it could in five years or 10 years,” he said. “It makes you think about the mark you want to make in the world.”

While dealing with this disease, he has become intimately familiar with the health care system. He said it provides him with a well-informed perspective on fixing the current system.

“I know what it’s like to have a five-figure annual health care bill,” he said. “I interact with our health care system in a daily way that allows me a unique understanding and commitment.”

But Spence also has priorities that do not involve health care.

“My goal is to make sure that every Missourian is educated, employed and insured,” he said.

A 1993 MU graduate, Spence has a solid commitment to Missouri’s public education system, particularly MU, he said.

Supporter Mark Buhremester, 21, sees Spence as a great asset to the House because of his commitment to Missouri’s education system.

“I think Sean really understands the issues that are of concern to students,” he said. “For a position like state Representative it’s really important that they listen to people’s concerns, and I think Sean will do that.”

Spence said he believes his background in government and business provides him with the knowledge to serve Missouri’s 25th district. He has worked for the state government, several Missouri politicians, such as former Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell, and also managed the campaign for State Auditor Susan Montee. Additionally, he has worked in corporate business and writes for the Columbia Business Times.

He said he is relying on the combination of these experiences to get elected.

“That’s what sets me apart,” he said.

Spence is also a member of the Rotary Club and a documentary film fan.

“Nobody in this town is more excited about the True/False Film Festival than I am,” he said.