COLUMBIA — After years on the road as a professional musician, Caleb Rowden announced his intentions to run for the Missouri House of Representatives in District 44 as a Republican.
Rowden’s transition from musician to politician may seem out of the ordinary, but he says that comes from a desire to help people.
“I’ve always tried to do everything in life to benefit people around me. I just have a passion for people and helping them move forward,” Rowden said.
He thinks there is a real disconnect between politicians and the people they represent, so he said he strives to be a transparent representative.
The district he is running in doesn't have a current representative living in it, according to a previous Missourian article.
State political boundaries are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census, and the new District 44 encompasses northeast Boone County and part of Randolph and Audrain counties. The district includes most of the Third Ward of Columbia, Hallsville and Centralia, where Rowden previously worked for a radio station.
Rowden has lived in Columbia for 21 years and recognizes the diversity within this new district. He said even though Columbia has an urban feel, once you get outside the city the feeling shifts to rural and that the new district covers everything from white collar to struggling people.
Rowden's priorities focus on the economy, job creation and education.
He said it’s important to establish an environment to create and attract new jobs to Missouri. He also thinks that instead of increasing taxes, the state needs to focus on better spending. He says that will keep more money in Missouri residents pockets so they can help the local economy grow.
“Opponents might say ‘lets raise taxes to cover funding gaps.’ But let's look at our priorities and give priority to the things that need it,” Rowden said.
Rowden expressed concern for the trends in public education and that schools in Kansas City and Saint Louis have lost accreditation. He says it’s important to work and encourage today’s students.
Rowden also highlighted the importance of MU.
“The university has been and will continue to be a good engine of growth and development for Missouri," he said. "It’s important to help it move forward and important for the people of Boone County to know about the university and realize the impact it has.”