Missouri Senate District 18
Cindy O’Laughlin, Republican
I am a local business person and I'd like to work toward a brighter economic future for our Northeast Missouri families. I support President Trump’s Agenda, I’m endorsed by Missouri Right to Life and am 100 percent supportive of the right to bear arms. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be running for office, I would have thought you were crazy. I had worked as a grassroots leader trying to make a difference in my community. I was on the South Shelby R-IV School Board, a foster parent and a conservative leader organizing against EPA overreach and Obamacare. I just looked at the way politics was being done in our state, and decided that it was time for the perspective of a business owner in Jefferson City. I thought our conservative principles were not being fought for and decided to take a stand for free-enterprise, our constitutional rights, and our religious liberties. The election of President Trump showed us that there is a need for an outsider who is not chained to the system to try and reform it. That is why I am running. I am running as a conservative outsider to fight for our Northeast Missouri values and our rural communities.
Why should Linn County citizens choose you over your opponent?
I think my views more closely match the views of the people in Linn County. I’m from a rural area and we have a business in a rural area. The fact that I am a business owner and employ 45 people, gives me an understanding of what it takes to operate effectively and efficiently. I don’t think those are strengths of my opponent. I want to see our area prosper. I have experience working with people in politics, but I’m not a long-time politician, I don’t plan on being one. I think it gives me the freedom to articulate our views and fight for our area, rather than supporting what the leadership would want to do. I have an independent, strong voice.
What legislation, if any, will you sponsor to help the citizens of Linn County?
I’m not one of those people that has five bills in mind that I want to file as soon as I get to Jefferson City. I do have interests that I think are aligned directly with the interests of our area. How I would put those things into legislation is yet to be determined. The top priority is to achieve accountability for the tax dollars that we’re currently spending. I think in some circumstances, what the state government is doing with our tax dollars is not achieving what we want in rural Missouri. Road and bridge repair and maintenance and our education system both need to be fixed for rural Missouri. I am fully prepared to file legislation once I have all of the facts, and the facts pertain to how we’re spending that tax money.
What is your stance on Amendment 1?
No, I’m a no on Amendment 1. I think the amendment ties a little bit of ethics reform, in order to make it acceptable to voters, while it is disguising that it is a new way of redistricting Missouri. It takes the power of redistricting out of the hands of the people and their legislators, and gives it to the state auditor. I think it obfuscates what the actual issue is. I’m not for misleading voters. I think these issues should be simply and clearly stated, so that the voters know and understand what they’re voting on. Amendment 1 does not meet that guideline.
How do you hope to work with colleagues across the aisle?
I hope we can communicate in a cordial, respectful way. I don’t think we gain anything by going to Jefferson City and saying “this is where my party stands.” I think the two-party system has created a rift among voters. I think it’s important to understand what issues senators from other districts are facing. I think it’s a good solution for all to understand our different lifestyles and the different issues other district face. I want to sit down with my colleagues face-to-face and listen to what they have to say. Rather than assuming what other senators goals and aspirations are, I want to ask them directly and see what it is that concerns them, and even vice-versa, to come up with good solutions. I don’t let others speak for me. If I have a question, or issue, I call that person directly. I think there’s a lot lost in translation. I prefer to do my communication firsthand.
Infrastructure is a big problem in northern Missouri, roads are in need of repair and many buildings are very old, how do you hope to change this?
This ties back to legislation that I would file. I don’t think we control and direct our spending. The result of that is we are not achieving the goals our voters want to see. Rather than going down that same path, I would like to get control of the spending and implement accountability for our departments, so they are achieving those goals we want to see. I want to give our roads and bridges a higher priority than what they’re receiving now. Our area with our immense amount of roadways is not receiving a fair share of attention from MoDOT. I think we understand we need to spend more money on our infrastructure, but I want to know where and how that money is being spent.