Candidates file for House, Senate seats

Veteran and rookie candidates will run to replace outgoing politicians.
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:48 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In the final hours before the filing deadline, three Republican candidates filed for Columbia’s state senate district.

Michael Ditmore of Columbia, Andrew Spain of Columbia and a person from Moberly listed as “A. Sage” are the latest candidates for the 19th District seat, which will be vacated by Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, because of term limits.

Spain is a paramedic with University Hospital and a newcomer to the political arena.

He said that he hopes to bring more fiscal responsibility to government. Specifically, he would like to change the way bills are put together so that numerous spending amendments to bills are no longer the “habit” in the legislature since “that’s where a lot of money goes,” he said.

He also said that he thinks the private sector can more efficiently handle services the government offers and would like to redefine the role of government to let private organizations take on those responsibilities.

“I know that there’s a lot of things that can be done better,” Spain said.

Ditmore was a neurosurgeon at Boone Hospital Center until he retired in January. He is a clinical assistant professor with the neurological surgery unit of the MU Health Care.

“We like his medical background,” said Brad Barondeau, chairman of the Boone County Republican Central Committee.

He said Ditmore could strengthen Republican insight into health care issues. Ditmore plans on retiring from his university position Thursday to focus attention on his campaign, Barondeau said.

Sage could not be reached for comment. Former state Rep. Tim Harlan and term-limited Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, have filed on the Democratic side.

Meanwhile, two new candidates filed last week for local seats in the state House. Republican Dan Fischbach filed March 22 in the 23rd District, and Democrat Greg Casey filed Thursday in the 24th District.

Fischbach, who lost against Wendy Noren for Boone County Clerk in 1998, said he has not yet formed a campaign committee. The death of his mother last week has kept him from being able to focus on the campaign, he said, but he said that he plans on giving speeches in Columbia in the coming week.

Casey, a former MU political science professor, said he considered state revenue and fiscal issues to be the most important ones. He said Missouri needs a three-bracket, progressive income-tax system, in which wealthy taxpayers would pay the higher rates. He called “anti-tax” legislation a “threat” to economic stability in Boone County. Casey said legislation concerning “issues of conscience,” such as abortion rights and gay marriage, is often “one-sided.” He said more policies should be implemented that draw solutions for both sides of the political spectrum.

Casey is running against fellow Democrat Travis Ballenger, while Carol Iles and Ed Robb filed on the Republican side.

The only other local race for state office that will have a contested primary this fall is the 25th House District, which features six Democrats and one Republican running to replace Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, D-Columbia, who is term-limited.

Take a look at the candidates thus far for federal and statewide offices and for legislative offices representing Columbia and Boone County.

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