JEFFERSON CITY — Teddy Fleck, the Libertarian candidate for lieutenant governor, said he stands for lower taxes, smaller government and returning power from the federal government back to individual states.
Fleck, of Springfield, was a Republican for 27 years before changing parties.
PERSONAL: 46. He is married and has three children.
PARTY AFFILIATION: Libertarian
CAMPAIGN WEB SITE: teddyfleck.com
OCCUPATION: Truck driver.
EDUCATION: General education diploma, 1980; Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Training, U.S. Army, 1990.
BACKGROUND: Fleck is secretary of the Greene County Libertarian Party. He is a member of Elks Lodge 409 and the American Legion.
"They're all big government anymore, and they don't represent the people," Fleck said of his reason for defecting from the GOP.
The 46-year-old served 13 years in the U.S. Army, eventually reaching the rank of sergeant first class. Since 1992, he has worked as a truck driver.
Fleck is married with two daughters and one son. He is secretary of the Greene County Libertarian Party and is a member of his local Elks Lodge and the American Legion.
Asked what he saw as the biggest issue facing Missouri over the next four years, Fleck said, "I think it is problems with the economy, taxes and the energy problems."
He also noted support for offering more tax breaks to parents who choose to send their children to private or parochial schools, requiring "stand-alone bills" in the state legislature and protecting Missourians' Second Amendment rights.
Many of state government's ills could be resolved by readjusting priorities, Fleck said.
"We've really got to sit down and look at each program, each expenditure at the state level to ... either reduce it, downsize it, combine departments, anything we can do to lower taxes, which in turn saves the Missourians more money, and which they can use on their own," he said.
In terms of programs for seniors, Fleck said his goal would be to make sure the state does not duplicate programs already offered by the federal government.
Fleck called health care affordability "the toughest item" at the state level. He suggested allowing individuals and small business owners to pool health insurance, giving them a stronger voice with insurance companies in trying to reduce premiums.
He said that means testing is necessary.
"If a person can afford their own medical insurance, there's no need, you know; you have to make sure we aren't providing money for that," he said.
Fleck said he believes he is the best candidate for lieutenant governor "because I am an independent; I am a Libertarian. I do not belong to the ruling parties in Jefferson City, and I owe nothing to ... special interest groups. I would be able to work independently with both parties to ensure that our government uses fiscal responsibility and that our civil rights are not eroded any more than they are within the government."