Mo. treasurer sets sights on Washington

Farmer says she works for taxpayers, not special interests.
Friday, February 13, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:35 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 7, 2008

Missouri Treasurer Nancy Farmer stopped in Columbia on Thursday to formally announce her bid for the U.S. Senate.

“I sure never thought I’d be standing here today, asking the people of Missouri to send me to Washington,” Farmer told a crowd of about 40 supporters at the Ramada Inn. “But here I am, and that’s where I’m going.”

Columbia is one of 17 cities throughout the state that Farmer, a Democrat, will be touring in a school bus to meet and greet supporters.

After a warm introduction by state Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, Farmer immediately challenged the records of the incumbent U.S. senator, Republican Kit Bond, and the Bush administration on domestic and foreign policy issues, calling them “socially and fiscally irresponsible.”

At one point, supporters cheered the candidate’s comments about a headline in Thursday’s Washington Post citing Bush’s support for sending some jobs overseas.

“I’ve got an idea,” Farmer said. “Maybe we need to shift his job overseas.”

Farmer's goal comes from past success

Farmer said her platform is based on her accomplishments during her time as a state legislator, where she was chairwoman of the Ways and Means Committee, and as the first female treasurer in Missouri history.

“I’ve worked hard to manage the state’s dollars for the benefit of taxpayers, not special interests,” she said.

She said her successful fight to repeal a state sales tax on groceries and the creation of the MOST program, a state college tuition savings program, were among her more notable accomplishments that helped Missourians.

Onlookers come to support and learn

Several Democratic state representatives came to support Farmer, including Vicky Riback Wilson and Jeff Harris of Columbia, James Seigfried of Marshall, James Whorton of Trenton and Bob Hilgemann of St. Louis. Columbia First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton also attended.

George Brakhage, 78, of Columbia, said he attended the event to learn more about Farmer before he decides whether to support her.

“I’m awfully disappointed in Kit Bond,” said Brakhage, a former Republican. “He’s in charge of a hog farm.”

Brakhage was referring to Bond’s reputation for bringing in extra federal money for state projects, commonly known as pork, through the appropriations process.

Bond, who has served three terms in Congress, hasn’t officially announced his candidacy.

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