ASHLAND - A special election for the 50th district representative is only a few days away. Republican candidate Sara Walsh wants to decrease business regulations, improve education, prioritize public safety and limit government in agriculture.
Walsh and her family moved to Missouri when she was 6-years-old.
“Growing up poor basically in mid-Missouri, parents struggled pay check to pay check," Walsh said. "So I know what that’s like."
Ever since she was a child, Walsh said she had a passion for America.
"If you dream big you can achieve great things because America is the land of opportunity,” she said.
She worked frying chicken at Moser's Foods, graduated from Columbia College, worked in a factory and as an auditor.
"I can relate to people from a lot of backgrounds,” Walsh said.
She serves as the executive committee for the Missouri Republican Party, Republican state committeewoman for the 19th senatorial district and was the past Vice Chair of the Boone County Republican Central Committee.
One supporter, Joan Rawson, said she knows Walsh will use money 'wisely.'
"She's concerned about being a good manager of the public's money," Rawson said. "She knows how money is spent and where it is spent."
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said at a rally he believes Sara will remember it is a gift and privilege to serve the people of Missouri if elected.
"She will work day in and night to do those things that create opportunity and incentives for everyone in the state of Missouri to achieve and be the best that they can be," Ashcroft said. "I know that becase she's been doing it."
Walsh said one of her key issues is pushing back on business regulations.
“The experts in our communities are the people owning the businesses, are the people that are there creating the businesses that are creating jobs," Walsh said. "So talking to leaders in the community and working with everyone to be able to basically push back on over regulations."
She said government regulations are a burden on businesses.
“Taxes are always a burden on our businesses," Walsh said, adding she will, if elected, push back on government regulations that "don’t make sense."
Walsh also wants to collaborate with businesses to help prepare Missouri school students for the workforce.
"Ensuring that there are those partnerships to ensure that kids have the opportunities and see the opportunities that are available for them when they graduate high school," she said. “I want to be a champion and inspire people and encourage people and just kinda help people again navigate through to find their own way and to live their own American dream.”
Walsh also wants to increase public safety funds. She said she supports veterans and law enforcement officers.
“The greatest thing that you can do is to lay down your life for someone else," she said. “I work for them in the legislature to ensure that they have the funding and resources that they need to stay safe while they keep us safe.”
Walsh said she asked farmers how she could better serve them in Jefferson City.
Their response: "I don’t need you to do anything...just keep government kind of off our backs.”
She wants to decrease government regulations for farmers.
“They just want to be able to be free to just to be farmers, to farm the land. To care for the soil, to be able to provide food on the tables,” Walsh said.
“Some regulation is good, and we would all agree to that," she said. “When there’s regulation after regulation, it all just becomes a stack of regulations that’s a burden on our farmers and the backs of our business owners and families.”
Walsh is endorsed by the NRA, Missouri Right to Life, Missouri Cattlemen's Association, National Federation of Independent Business, The Missouri Correction Officer's Association and the Columbia Police Officer's Association.
"Sara is honest, she's ethical, she's hard working, she's intelligent, she's experienced. I know that she's really concerned about public service and will give it her all," Rawson said. "I look forward to watching Sara interact with the community and listen to the community's needs."
“I’ve got the education, I’ve got 20 years of life experience right here in mid-Missouri, and I want to put that to work for the people on August 8th and beyond,” Walsh said.
Michela Skelton is the Democratic candidate in the race. Residents in the 50th district can vote for their candidate Tuesday, August 8.