On Friday, members of the Pettis County Pachyderm Club learned more about a first-time candidate for office, Dan Houx, who is running for District 54 state representative.
District 54 encompasses a small portion of Pettis County and part of Johnson County. The seat is open for the Nov. 8 general election as current District 54 Rep. Denny Hoskins is running for the state senate. Houx was unopposed in the August primary but will face Democrat Bob Gregory, of Leeton, and Libertarian Steve Daugherty, of Warrensburg, in November.
Houx, of Warrensburg, said he is a seventh generation resident of Johnson County and is a home construction contractor and licensed real estate agent.
“A little bit about why I feel I need to run, there’s a lot of big changes and challenges that I feel need to happen,” Houx told those gathered at Best Western State Fair Inn. “First of all, our economic situation in Missouri is pretty poor, we need to grow that. I know how important it is in the district to have Whiteman Air Force Base here, UCM and State Fair Community College, the impact that has on our economy and I’ll keep fighting to keep those institutions here moving forward.”
Houx continued his brief opening remarks by touching on the subjects of agriculture, big government and gun rights.
“With agriculture being our No. 1 industry in the state, I believe that we need to continue fighting with that and I plan on continuing Sen. (Mike) Parson’s proponent of being in agriculture and moving forward with it,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been endorsed by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, they believe in me and they feel I’m a good candidate on that.
“Going back to economic growth, we need to get big government, as Denny says, off our back, continue growing us, our economy. We’ve got to get it going, some way or another,” he continued.
“… I’m also a believer of the Second Amendment right and protecting our men and women who are in blue. We need to make sure they are fully secured the best way we can.”
Houx was asked several quick questions about a variety of hot-button issues, such as Common Core, which Houx said he is against.
“I think we need to bring education in our school system back to the local level,” he said.
He was also asked about his opinion on Real ID. Missouri is one of three states to not issue a federally-recognized license and in just a few weeks civilians will not be able to use their driver’s license to gain access to military installations; federally-issued identifications, such as passports, can still be used. If the Missouri legislature doesn’t choose to use the federally-recognized license, in 2018 it will also affect Missourians’ ability to board a plane using their license.
“Being from Johnson County with Whiteman Air Force Base, it’s troublesome for our civilian contractors who work on base,” Houx said. “…I feel it’s something that needs to be brought back up in the legislature and changed.”
If elected, Houx said he would be interested in serving on the Agriculture Committee, Professional Licensing Committee and the Department of Natural Resources Committee.
“I know it’s not glamorous, but it’s something I feel as a contractor and also as a licensed real estate agent that the licensing process in the state of Missouri is difficult on a few things, I think there’s a few things that could be corrected there, especially with real estate,” he said of the Professional Licensing Committee.
Sedalia Police Department Chief John DeGonia will be the speaker at the next Pachyderm meeting at noon Friday at Best Western State Fair Inn.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.