Profiles for State Representative - 130th District

Incumbent Republican Jeff Messenger, left, takes on Democratic challenger Tyler Gunlock in the Nov. 6 general election for the 130th District State Representative seat.

Candidates for State Representative, 130th District:

Tyler Gunlock
Political Party: Democrat
Family: Son of a retired union lineman and retired teacher, and proud uncle.
Education: I’m a 1996 graduate of Ash Grove High School and a 2001 graduate of the
University of Missouri-Columbia. I also completed a post-graduate summer language program at
Johns Hopkins University in 2008.
Why do you want to be a State Representative?
I love the Ozarks and Missouri, and I think we’re better than the politics that have recently
represented it. Much has been made about tax cuts making our state an attractive place to do
business, but we have to have a more fully formed approach to what our state and people need.
More affordable health care, better wages and investment in infrastructure and workforce
development that will both raise our quality of life and welcome the right kind of growth.

Why do you feel you’re the best candidate for the job?
I’m old enough to be skeptical but young enough to believe we can make things better. Having
relationships with the people you want to represent is the most important part of the job, and
forming those relationships so far has been the most enjoyable part of this process. I’ve talked
with people from all over the district and political spectrum and have had more wonderful
conversations than I can count. I’m passionate about getting policy right, but I think that going
door to door and speaking with constituents has turned out to be a right and necessary training
for this job. If there’s not a connection with the folks you aim to represent, then you’re just a part
of the old boys’ club and a rubber stamp for misplaced priorities.

Have you held public office before? If so, what, when?
I was elected to and currently serve on the Greene County Extension Council where I’m a
member of the Audit Committee.

What are the most important issues facing the state right now, and how to you plan to
handle them?

We must address affordability of health care; it’s the greatest opportunity we have to improve
the quality of life for Missourians. The rising cost of health insurance and prescription drugs is
out of control, and when we don’t take some obvious, data driven, simple steps that would
address these issues, it’s frustrating. After the closing of a fifth rural Missouri hospital, accepting
the ACA expansion is a must. Restoring funding for the MoRX program for seniors is another
important step within reach. Additionally, for most workers real wages haven’t risen in decades and yet we continue to elect those who strip away the rights of working people to collectively
bargain. I plan to respect the rights of unions to organize and advocate for their members.

What else would you like for the voters to know about you?
I get out of bed in the morning and worry about people who don’t have the health care they
should. For example, 1 in 4 people who use insulin are rationing due to cost. The richest country
in the world should do better, and I want to make sure that we do.

Jeff Messenger - Did not submit answers to the Greene County Commonwealth.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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