Richard Tolbert said politics today is “rotten and corrupt.” He wants to reform it.
Tolbert, who said he has been active in politics since 1964, is a Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Missouri.
PERSONAL: From Kansas City. Age 65. Single. No children.
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
ON THE WEB: Website: richardtolbert.com
OCCUPATION: Business professional
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from Yale University
BACKGROUND: Trustee on the board of the Metropolitan Community College, president of the Save the Bannister Mall group, former Kansas City councilman (1971-74), unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate (1992)
He said his grassroots background is a reason why he is the best candidate for Senate.
“I think the representatives of the people should be well grounded in the grassroots level of this country," Tolbert said. "I think I’m the most grassroots of the candidates.”
He said he is running because of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s "lack of support for (President Barack) Obama when he came to Missouri once before.” If elected, Tolbert said he would support Obama.
He supports immigration reform, advocating stiffer penalties for illegal immigrants caught in the country. He suggests labor as a punishment, referencing "the North Korean solution to when we catch someone in the country illegally." He is in favor of government bailouts if it means saving the economy, and he said he wants to reform public financing of election campaigns by expanding it to all elected offices.
Tolbert said his race is a factor in his candidacy.
“It’s part of who I am,” he said. “Black men make good leaders because we’ve suffered, we’re sensitive, we’re more understanding.”