Missouri congressional candidate Henry Martin stopped in Memphis on Friday, October 26th as part of a tour of the 36-county 6th Congressional District. The Democratic candidate was concluding his “Missouri Matters” RV tour.
“I want to be the voice for the teachers in Maryville and Kirksville and for the police officer in Hannibal. I understand the issues facing our community and together, we can show Washington that Missouri Matters,” Martin said.
The U.S. Army veteran said he believed his opponent, incumbent Sam Graves, was so confident in re-election that he didn’t have to put forth a lot of effort to meet with constituents from such faraway places as Scotland County.
“I don’t feel like we have been represented,” he stated. “I believe our elected officials must be accountable, and they must be visible and not just at election time. That is why I am volunteering for the job.”
Martin served in Germany and both Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf. He earned the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Missouri State Emergency Ribbon and Southwest Asia Service Ribbon.
As a civilian, Martin served his community as a classroom teacher, building administrator and coach for 19 years. He has been active in the National Education Association, Missouri National Education Association, Kansas National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Martin said he felt warmly welcomed on his local stop, even when visiting with residents who declared themselves as Republicans during their conversations.
“At one stop, the voter announced he was a Republican as soon as I told him who I was,” said Martin. “But after we talked a while, he informed me that not one time in his life had a candidate for a state office ever knocked on his door and asked for his vote, telling me that our conversation had definitely given him something to think about.”
The candidate noted that health care was the topic of most discussion during the RV tour, with many voters questioning what can be done.
“People are afraid, they’re losing their shirt,” said Martin regarding health care costs. “At one stop I heard from a person who indicated they had not been able to enjoy retirement because they could barely afford insurance premiums.”
Martin said he is in favor of a complete and total review of insurance and health care costs to at least determine if Medicare coverage for all citizens would be financially feasible.
“A comparison of insurance costs and out-of-pocket medical expenses could be made with Congressional Budget Office estimates on universal health care. Obviously if Medicare for all costs less, it would be an easy sell.”
The candidate said he felt like both sides of the healthcare debate were cherry picking points to try and win the argument, highlighting the need for good intelligence to allow policy makers to make the best decision.
Martin also discussed recent tax cuts with local residents.
“If we do not have the money for government to fund Medicare and Social Security, then where did the money come from to pay for the tax cuts,” he questioned.
The candidate closed his local interview by stating that government needed to get back to working for the people.
“Most of us individuals can’t afford to hire lobbyists,” he said. “Government needs to step up and take care of its obligation to all of us.”