Independent candidate joins the U.S. Senate race in Missouri

1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago Friday, August 03 2018 Aug 3, 2018 Friday, August 03, 2018 1:46:00 PM CDT August 03, 2018 in News
By: David Estrada, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Craig O'Dear, a trial lawyer practicing business litigation in Kansas City, is throwing his hat in the hotly-contest ring for one of Missouri's Senate seats in November.

On Monday, O'Dear - an independent - turned in more than 20,000 signatures to the Missouri Secretary of State's office supporting his candidacy.

"I came to believe, increasingly over recent years, that our country is in trouble,” he said. "One of the major reasons, in my view, is an environment of hyper-partisanship driven largely by the leaders of our two political parties" (see full interview above).

O'Dear said as an independent candidate, he focuses on solving the problems of the country by working with people from different political ideologies.

"As opposed to having a loyalty to the party that I had chosen to operate within, and therefore my hands are largely tied, and I have to toe the line with that party, and be loyal to that party or I would be out of a job," he said. "I am not interested in that approach, that's the career approach to politics."

In 2016, President Donald Trump received 56.4 percent of the votes in Missouri, compared to the 37.9 percent of votes Hillary Clinton won.

Also in 2016, 51.1 percent of Missourians voted for former Republican governor Eric Greitens. In addition, the Republican Party controls both the House and the Senate in the state.

However, O'Dear said that political panorama would not stop him from becoming a U.S. Senator.

"What I have come to believe and understand is that plus 19 percent Trump vote was very substantially a vote against something," he said. "It was a vote against Hillary Clinton, but frankly more than Hillary Clinton, there was a view of this Clinton machine, and this 'careerism' where you've had the Clintons in politics for decades and you've seen them going to politics with no money, and now they're worth tens of millions of dollars."

In terms of the dominance of the Republican Party in the state government, O'Dear said that just reflects one party has been more effective that the other in getting its candidates into office in recent years.

"When I moved back to the state in 1982, after I got out of law school, there were virtually no Republicans, it was just reversed," he said. "I believe that this issue today, in terms of are there more Republicans or more Democrats in office, I don't believe that's what people are going to be looking at in this election, and I believe they are going to be looking at it less and less as we go forward."

President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence have endorsed Missouri Attorney General on his senate race. On the other hand, Senator Claire McCaskill is an incumbent seeking reelection.

O’Dear said he still has a chance to get to Capitol Hill.

"I have a number of experiences in my life, both as a trial lawyer but also in my personal life, where I have come up against challenges that people said, that can't be done, and I've done it," he said. "This idea of independence, and needing an alternative to this two-party, hyper-partisan warfare system we have today is an idea whose time has come."

O'Dear said healthcare reform would be one of his top priorities if he is elected to the U.S. Senate.

"We spend twice as much money per capita as any other country in the world," he said. "What I believe the model we need to move to is more of, call it a 'manage to care,' situations where healthcare companies take responsibility for the healthcare needs of a segment of the population, at a fixed price."

O'Dear also said he would focus on immigration legislation.

"These party leaders have decided is more important to blame each other and fight each other than to conduct the business of the American people," he said. "And it's not going to get solved electing one more party line R or one more party line D. You have to introduce an independent element in that negotiation and discussion, you have to introduce somebody who says, listen I am here to try to facilitate a solution.”

Regarding his contenders, O'Dear said he is not in the senate race to comment on either Attorney General Josh Hawley or Senator Claire McCaskill.

"I started with the presumption, and I still have it, they are good people with good intentions," he said. "And I am not running against anybody, I am running for something that I believe it's desperately missing in our politics today."

However, he said electing a party-affiliated candidate is not the solution for what he calls a problem on Capitol Hill.

"It is not possible to be that agent of change if you've been part of the problem for 12 years or if you come as a candidate who's committed to one of the parties," O'Dear said. "Because, what happens when you land in D.C., you are now injected into that hyper-partisan warfare."

In a statement, Hawley's campaign spokesperson Kelli Ford said "Craig O'Dear is a Hillary Clinton supporter, just as Claire McCaskill was."  

McCaskill for Missouri Press Secretary Eric Mee responded to O'Dear's claims saying "sounds like the complaints of a lifelong Republican unhappy with his party. Claire has always been an independent voice who is willing to work with anyone from any party to get things done for the people of Missouri, and nothing will ever change that."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri will have a delayed start Friday due to weather, opening at 10 a.m. ... More >>
44 minutes ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 5:29:55 AM CST January 24, 2020 in News
BELLE - The Maries County Sheriff addressed concerned Belle residents Thursday after the town closed its police department earlier this... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:19:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system continues in central Missouri, reaching a crescendo Thursday night through Friday with snow accumulations... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 7:07:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - After more than a year and a half of sitting empty, and with holes throughout, a Jefferson... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 6:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - Winter weather brings more than just frosty temperatures. It brings the unexpected. Especially when parents and grandparents are... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 5:06:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - This winter has brought above-average levels of snow and ice to mid-Missouri, and now, crews across the... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 4:18:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - Construction on Route 54 south of Jefferson City will begin on Monday, January 27. The project is... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man accused of assault. The... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:42:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
A replat of property at the northwest corner of Cherry and Hitt streets to accommodate plans for a six-story... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Jim Lehrer, the retired PBS anchorman and a graduate of the MU School of Journalism, died Thursday... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Knight is objecting to a defense request for change of venue in... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:22:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Roy Blunt commended President Trump’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its Waters of... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 12:16:00 PM CST January 23, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday published new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:15:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Too much rock salt on your driveway might hurt your yard in the spring. According to the... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 11:01:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD - The first untested sexual assault kits recorded through Missouri's SAFE Kits Initiative will be collected at the Springfield... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:50:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Lucky's Market has confirmed that the Columbia location will remain open as they begin closing various stores around... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 10:34:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities Thursday moved to lock down three cities that are home to more than 18 million... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:56:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 192 medical marijuana dispensary facilities will receive their licenses Thursday, according to the Department of Health and... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, January 23 2020 Jan 23, 2020 Thursday, January 23, 2020 9:06:00 AM CST January 23, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
7am 31°
8am 32°
9am 32°
10am 33°