Affordable health care, protections for senior citizens and true support for veterans are among the priorities that state Rep. Sam Page, D-Creve Coeur, cited in declaring Tuesday that he will run for Missouri lieutenant governor.
Page, a 42-year-old physician, made his comments in front of a small gathering at Flat Branch Park in downtown Columbia. The visit followed stops in his hometown of Van Buren, in Springfield and in Creve Coeur. He and his family planned to end their state tour Tuesday in Kansas City, where he graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical School.
Page said Tuesday morning that his focus as lieutenant governor would be serving Missouri families.
“If the actions of politicians ever really matched their service to families, it would be reflected in policies that put the people first. Sadly, in my experience, this has not been the case,” Page said. “Missouri needs leadership that will stand up and provide the independence and courage to fight on behalf of the people.”
Page scolded the General Assembly for not putting the interests of Missourians first.
“I’m proud to say that in my five years in the legislature, I’ve always been on the right side of that fight,” Page said. “The fight to empower people, not special interests. The fight to put state government in its place and put Missouri families first.”
Page said his experience as a physician gives him special insight when it comes to health care needs. He said Missouri needs policies that provide quality, affordable and portable health care to every citizen. He cited a special responsibility to the state’s seniors.
“We have a responsibility to protect them from rip-off artists, identity theft and nursing-home abuse,” he said. “Providing health care to people is the thing we were brought up to do. It’s a value system, and it is the responsibility of the state to step up and help them.”
Page also said Missouri must do more to acknowledge the dedication and courage of Missouri veterans.
“We need to move beyond yellow ribbons and bumper stickers and truly recognize the dedication and courage of those Missourians serving in the armed forces, honoring their sacrifice by ensuring they’ll have the best medical care and support services available,” he said.
Page also said Missouri needs to ensure that every public school offers every child a first-class education and the skills needed to compete.
“We need to not just provide for our nation’s future, but help our nation maintain its competitive edge in technology and innovation,” he said.
Page maintains that Missourians no longer believe that government in Jefferson City is of, by or for them.
“It is time to put Missouri families first and take care of seniors, veterans and kids. We can do that. It’s very simple.”
Democrat Mike Evans of Arnold also is running for the office and has created a campaign committee for lieutenant governor.
Another Democratic House member, Rep. Jim Whorton of Trenton, has said he’s also considering running for the second-highest statewide office in Missouri, as are some other lawmakers.
Republican Peter Kinder was elected to the post in 2004.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.