Republican Candidates for State Representative District 121 on Tuesday, August 7.
(R) Don Mayhew
(R) Bruce Goodrich
(R) Matt Miller
*Republican candidate Matt Miller did not respond to the questionnaire in time for publication.
A little about you:
Don Mayhew: I was born and raised right here in the 121st district and have lived here most of my life. I graduated from Crocker High School and then attended and graduated from the University of Missouri–Rolla, which we now know as Missouri S&T. My wife, Deanna, and I have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. I am a licensed Professional Engineer and Professional Surveyor. For the last 23 years, I have been a small business owner. My engineering and surveying company has served the people of both Phelps and Pulaski Counties. I have served as Pulaski County Surveyor for almost 12 years, and I have also served on the Crocker School Board, including a term as president of the board. It’s very important to me that elected officials be an active part of their community. I have also been in other community organizations like MOCA Policy Council, that's the Head Start folks, the Board for the Habitat for Humanity and the Crocker Park Board. I am also the chair for the Pulaski County Justice Center Task Force, where I have been fighting for the responsible use of taxpayer dollars and to make sure we are preparing for the future by providing the equipment and facilities necessary to our law enforcement people to make their job as safe and efficient as possible.
Bruce Goodrich: I was born and raised in Crocker, Mo. I attended 2 years at The University of Missouri Columbia. I then returned home to the family business “Goodrich Gas”, where I continue in the day to day operations. I have been married to my wife Denise for 30 years and am proudly raising my 2 grandsons. My hobbies are golf and I have a small cow/calf operation. I am active in my local church and my grandsons’ sports activities.
Why are you running for this office and what sets you apart from your opponents?
Don Mayhew: Missouri’s budget is over $28 billion. Through my work as an engineer and my work on Boards and community organizations, I have the knowledge and experience with the things that make up nearly half of that budget. I work with the most State agencies nearly every day and understand the challenges that are facing our state. As a school board member, I have seen first-hand the challenges facing our public schools, especially those affecting our rural schools. As a Civil Engineer and a former MODOT engineer, I see the problems plaguing our crumbling infrastructure and I have solutions for dealing with those problems. I know about job-killing regulations and how many of these do nothing to protect the public or the environment and, in some cases, make the problem worse. Many of these regulations are “unfunded mandates” that are forced upon our communities and needlessly drive up sewer, water and electric rates and prevent sensible improvements to the highways. As chair of the Justice Center Task Force for nearly 2 years, I have learned more about incarceration than I ever wanted to know. We need jails to be sure however building more jails is not the answer to many of our current problems. The opioid epidemic is driving much of the crime in our counties and we are on the verge of losing an entire generation. We must attack the problem with education, treatment, and law enforcement. Finally, I am the only candidate that understands both Missouri S&T and Fort Leonard Wood. These are the major economic engines of our region and I will fight to make sure that they grow for years to come.
Bruce Goodrich: About 6 years ago I started thinking that I wanted to do more in the way of public service to help our next generation understand and keep conservative Republican values for the future. By having worked in the public service sector all of my professional life I have learned and heard many of the concerns and have seen the different needs of the citizens. To be able to help someone with an issue or concern let alone make policy for our state would be one of my greatest achievements.
In your opinion, what is the single most important responsibility of the office you are seeking?
Don Mayhew: Passing laws that empower the citizens and reduce the size of government, eliminate waste and corruption provide better oversight of government agencies; and make sure that our tax dollars are spent wisely so that the people can keep more of their hard earned money.
Bruce Goodrich: To be the voice for the constituents for the political policies in Jefferson City. To inform the people of any changes that can be fought against to maintain the freedoms we enjoy in our state.
Should the minimum wage be increased, why or why not?
Don Mayhew: I know of only a tiny number of jobs that are paying minimum wage. Almost everywhere I look I see "help wanted" signs. The Trump economy has brought us to nearly full employment. Right now it is an "employee market". Most jobs are paying well above minimum wage and above what they were just a couple of years ago. As a small business owner, I know from personal experience the cost of more useless time consuming and expensive mandates shoved down our throat.
Bruce Goodrich: As for increasing the minimum wage I’m afraid that a lot of the entry level jobs would be gone due to automated order takers. Most of the $7.25 jobs out there today are entry level jobs. They are a stepping ground between school and the career one decides to follow. Once one has a vocation and is good at what he does minimum wage is not the issue it’s what the employer has to pay to keep them.
What issues do you plan on addressing while serving in the state legislature that has a direct impact on Phelps County?
Don Mayhew: Transportation and other infrastructure issues are not just a problem in Phelps County but also State wide. We have to address our crumbling infrastructure immediately. The opioid epidemic is something that will necessarily be a front burner item, and I would like to immediately start working with those knowledgeable in the treatment area, including faith-based solutions, to come up with a plan that we can enact soon. I will also, on day one, start working on getting rid of the 1000's of useless regulations that are hindering our economy.
Bruce Goodrich: School security would be one of my top priorities to protect students and staff, to allow them to safely learn and have the freedom to participate in extracurricular activities. We need to find the resources for our education systems to provide the security necessary to achieve this. Also we need to address the issues associated with mental illness that is impacting our country on all levels.
What are your budgeting priorities?
Don Mayhew: We have ignored infrastructure funding for far too long. We are starting to see things like bridge closures and failing water systems affecting folks right here in our District. Education is also always a high budget priority and will remain there year after year. The opioid epidemic is straining our law enforcement and we will most definitely be providing funding there at record levels.
Bruce Goodrich: First and foremost I am for a balanced budget. We have a great need to manage our infrastructure both now and on future projects. I would work to learn all aspects of the types of funding available including private investors to maintain our current and future infrastructure.
What should voters know about you in order to make an informed decision?
Don Mayhew: I am the only candidate with the necessary variety of knowledge and experience to be able to tackle the important issues on "day one". I am experienced with budgets large and small. I know what it's like to have to worry about where the money is going to come from to make payroll on Friday. I was born here, raised here and choose to raise my family here. I understand the people of the area and the issues that face us. I have been dedicated to my community for several years and have volunteered for the tough jobs because it had to be done and somebody had to do it. I didn't just wake up one morning and decide to run for office to "have something to do". I'm an Engineer not just another lawyer climbing the political ladder. I am proud of my A rating from the NRA and am endorsed by the Missouri Right to Life.
Bruce Goodrich: I have spent my professional life working and listening to the public to provide them with their needs or fixing of problems. I feel this will help me to provide my constituents with the experience that is needed in Jefferson City.