Education advocate announces candidacy for Missouri House

Monday, December 3, 2007 | 9:19 p.m. CST; updated 6:19 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Cande Iveson hopes to help the Missouri legislature take a hard look at how it spends tax dollars.

At a campaign rally on Monday night at the downtown Orr Street Studios, Iveson formally announced her candidacy forthe 23rd District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Democrat Jeff Harris, who holds the seat now, is running for attorney general, so the 23rd District, which represents much of western Columbia, will be an open race.

Iveson is the second Democrat to announce candidacy. Russ Unger, 45, an instructor for the apprentice program for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, has already said that he will run.

Iveson, interim executive director of a child advocacy group, First Chance for Children, said a focus of her campaign will be K-12 and university-level education as well as state health care.

Iveson hopes her experience as a lobbyist in Jefferson City for non-profit groups like Citizens for Missouri’s Children would help her be an effective state representative.

“Kids are a non-partisan topic,” Iveson told a group of about 25 campaign supporters. “I hope to find common ground and move forward with issues that people care about.”

Iveson recognizes that money for health care and education budgets must come from somewhere but said she’s not one to tax and spend. She described herself as “conservative in terms of money.”

“Missouri is a low-tax state and it’s probably going to stay that way,” Iveson said.

Increased funds for health care and education spending might not be an issue of more money, Iveson said, but a reallocation of existing funds.

It becomes a question of “What are you willing to give up?” Iveson said.

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