Three candidates vie for State House of Representatives District 37 seat
By Tyler Schneider
Republican John D. Boyd Jr., 41, was born and raised in Grandview, which makes up the majority of District 37. He left Grandview for a stint in the United States Air Force. His initial 2018 run for the District 37 seat on the GOP ticket fell to incumbent Joe Runions.
“I never really had an interest in politics before I realized I needed to do more to help those who need more protection in our communities, especially the unborn, elderly and disabled,” he said.
A 1997 graduate of Grandview High School, Boyd’s 2020 campaign centers around equipping the municipalities of his district with the power to make localized legislative decisions. The only way to do that, he believes, is to elect someone willing to “cut the red tape” of government regulations and overreach.
Boyd would like to dedicate his time in office towards making veteran aid easier to access. He cites personal experiences he’s had where the many operating inefficiencies of the Department of Veterans Affairs had negatively impacted veterans seeking prompt, adequate care.
“It’s different when you’ve been there, when you’ve seen the potential mismanagement of the V.A. firsthand. I want to make sure we can get our veterans in there to get care in a timely manner,” Boyd said.
Boyd would also seek to establish effective neighborhood watch programs within the district, which he said would “unite our community while decreasing the burden on law enforcement for frivolous calls.” Above all else, he describes himself as a Constitutionalist, considering it his personal responsibility to be a “protector of personal freedoms and individual liberties.”
Democrat Annette Turnbaugh, 61, has been a Grandview Ward II Aldermen since 2010. If elected to fill Joe Runions’ seat, Turnbaugh would like to continue advocating for public education, Medicaid expansion, public health and welfare, and transportation and infrastructure funding.
Regarding transportation, an issue with broad bipartisan support in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly, Turnbaugh is in support of potentially adding some form of transportation or fuel tax to fund repair efforts. She cites Missouri’s status as the eighth-worst ranked state on infrastructure.
“Grandview has a transportation tax that allows us to fund our roads well. I think the most equitable way to go would be turning parts of I-70 into a toll road,” Turnbaugh said, adding that the majority of those funds would come from interstate commerce like trucking companies.
While Turnbaugh is currently battling the aftermath of the loss of her Grandview home in a fire, she wants to make it clear that she has insurance and plans on rebuilding.
She would also like to elaborate on criticism she says she has gotten from some who believe her June 2 victory for another term as Grandview’s Ward II Aldermen represents a conflict of interest. Turnbaugh cites her proof: RSMO-115.351, a “state law that prohibits candidates from running for two offices in the same election.” Turnbaugh also assures that there are policies in place that can guide the Grandview municipal leaders in selecting her replacement as early as next year.
Now less than a week out, Turnbaugh is looking to make sure voters understand where she stands on top policy issues. She opposes Right to Work, Amendment II (‘Clean Missouri’), and, quote, “does not want to take away all of your guns.”
“I don’t feel that the public needs to have military grade automatic weapons,” Turnbaugh explains, adding that she owns a gun herself for personal protection. The real estate agent and Arabian horse judge then offered a final appeal to supporters and potential voters within her district.
“ Know that I can, and have, worked across the aisle and will be able to continue to do that (as a state representative),” Turnbaugh said.
Green Party candidate Daniel Karam, 68, is an author and lifelong activist from suburban Detroit. A Grandview resident since 2011, Karam has been an active co-coordinator of the Green Party’s Kansas City branch. In 2002, he mounted his very first Green Party campaign for the Michigan state senate, featuring the slogan, “War Against Greed.”
“Democracy cannot work without an informed public,” Karam explains. “My main priorities have to do with equality. Our political system has been dominated by special interests to the point of destruction — culturally and environmentally.”
State level issues that Karam finds himself particularly concerned with include universal healthcare, taking strong actions against climate change and public education funding. He would seek traditional Green Party efforts aimed towards reworking existing tax policies to fund these efforts — especially for those in the highest income brackets.
“I don’t see why schools are funded by local property taxes. I believe all schools should be funded equally throughout the state. Youth, especially, should be given equal opportunity to develop and progress,” Karam said.
Were he to win, Karam promised to “oppose legislation that favors organizations at the expense of people and promote efforts to improve and better the lifestyles of people.”