Scott Rupp pointed to three areas of expertise in his life that he believes match well with three of the responsibilities of the secretary of state, highlighting his financial services and college preparation businesses and 10 years as an elected official in Missouri.
“I have that real-life experience,” Rupp said, before addressing a group of about 40 people at a campaign stop at Pagliai’s in Kirksville. “The big thing for me is jobs. And I wonder if kids are still feeling that American Dream of being able to do anything they set their minds to.”
Rupp, who has served as a Missouri representative and senator, said his time in the private sector showed him how the Secretary of State’s office is often the front-door for businesses looking to expand.
Rupp defined himself as “pro-business, pro-jobs and a fiscal conservative,” highlighting his co-sponsorship of Proposition C, the Health Care Freedom Act, to Missouri voters who then went on to reject the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate with a 70 percent majority. Rupp was one of 20 co-sponsors of the bill, which was non-binding and largely symbolic.
“I’m the guy that put it on the ballot and got it passed,” Rupp said. “I’ve gotten results, not just filled the seat.”
He also highlighted his involvement in crafting Missouri’s illegal immigration laws in 2008 and his support for children with issues like autism.
Rupp said he disagreed with current Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s ballot issue summary for the statewide measure that would ask voters whether Missouri officials should be barred from creating a health insurance exchange without approval from voters or legislators. Carnahan has been criticized for her ballot summary, with Rupp saying she was looking to “push an agenda.”
The ballot summary asks voters: “Shall Missouri law be amended to deny individuals, families, and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum or through an exchange operated by the federal government as required by the federal health care act?”
Rupp portrayed the summary as political, with its use of language like “deny” as a falsehood, similar to the use of the term “puppy mill” in Proposition B.
“It’s not about should we create this, it’s about where does the power lie. It’s about the governor should not be able to create these exchanges by executive order,” Rupp said, portraying the exchanges as a significant building block of the Affordable Care Act.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, among others, has filed a lawsuit over the ballot summary, accusing the language of being deceptive.
Rupp will face fellow Republicans Shane Schoeller, of Bolivar, and Bill Stouffer, of Marshall, in the August primary. The winner will then go on to face the Democratic Party’s candidate of either Jason Kander or MD Rabbi Alam, both of Kansas City; as well as Libertarian Party candidate Cisse Spragins of Kansas City and Constitution Party candidate Justin Harter, of Columbia.
By Taylor Muller