Kelly's experience needed in 24th District

Thursday, October 30, 2008 | 10:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:52 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 30, 2008

This letter has been edited to correct a factual error. Ed Robb and Jim Ritter ran against each other in 2006.

Chris Kelly is a former Boone County clerk, state lawmaker and circuit judge in Boone County. In the General Assembly, he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee for several fiscal years and then chaired the Labor and Industrial Relations Board.

Accomplishments noted for him are how he handled the appropriation for the Katy Trail, brought economic development to this area, worked to bring Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co. to Columbia and worked for the interests of the university and for those of this community. As Kelly told the Columbia Daily Tribune, "Right now the university needs aggressive advocates, somebody who understands the value of academic research."

Kelly served in the Missouri House for 12 years as a Columbia representative. Since he departed from the General Assembly before the onset of term limits, Kelly will now be eligible to serve for eight years. He is needed there again in this time of economic uncertainty.

Kelly's Web site,, states that he is committed to building a strong economy for Boone County and Missouri, supporting Missouri's flagship university, increasing funding for K-12 education, providing health insurance coverage for all Missourians and bringing cooperation and civility to the legislative process. There has been a lot of divisiveness in the Missouri House. In the past, Kelly's record showed that he has gotten substantial action completed despite opposition from many competing interests. Bipartisanship is something he has worked toward, and his television advertisements feature prominent Republicans who support his campaign. When he was in the Missouri House, people say he had a good working relationship with Republican Gov. John Ashcroft.

From the Columbia Tribune: "Roger Wilson, a former lieutenant governor and governor, was a state senator during Kelly's legislative tenure, and at that time served as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Wilson said Kelly was 'driven by fairness' and 'extremely easy to work with. I've worked with him on the budget. And if you want somebody who can squeeze the eagle and make people responsible in their departments to the taxpayers, Chris Kelly's your guy,' Wilson said. 'He is as tight a fist as I have seen.'"

His opponent, Ed Robb, is running a campaign of attack ads. It is the same type of campaign that Robb waged against Jim Ritter in 2006. Instead of facts and figures on what Robb did for you, the voter, and what he has done for the 24th District and the university, he is again putting out nasty fliers and ads in the media. Is this the type of person to send to the state Legislature?

Chris Kelly has a record of knowing the budget process. He will work for you and for the university. It is time for a change. Vote for Chris Kelly on November 4th.

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