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On Monday, August 3rd, Courtney Cole, Democratic Party candidate for the House in the 121st Legislative District, stood on the Johnson County Courthouse steps in Warrensburg and publicly announced her run for office.  

Approximately fifty people were in attendance for the event where local small businessman, Gary Grigsby, owner of Central Band and Piano in Warrensburg, spoke about the difficulties that small businesses are currently dealing with in Johnson County. Grigsby said, “I’m supporting Courtney Cole, because she is a business professional, raised in rural Missouri, and she understands what it takes to succeed in this tough economy.”

University of Central Missouri student, Derek Wiseman, a student voice in support of Cole stated, “As students, the University of Central Missouri and Johnson County, deserves a leader that will never place partisan politics over our safety.”

Courtney Cole’s announcement remarks:

Thank you for coming out this afternoon. My name is Courtney Cole and I am here today to announce my candidacy for State Representative.

As a mother, teacher and small businesswoman, I know first-hand about the struggles facing Johnson County.

Every day, business owners across Johnson County are opening their doors wondering how much longer they can operate in these historic economic times.

Doors in Knob Knoster and Holden are closing. Business in Warrensburg, is stalled forcing our cities to make budget cuts. As a business professional, now is the time we need to come together in Johnson County. As Republicans, Democrats and Independents we need to brainstorm real solutions to improving our local economy – without increasing the tax burden on business and families.

A tough economy also hurts our schools. As a high school teacher, I have seen first-hand the impact of our rural schools being shortchanged at the state level. With dollars flooding to Kansas City and St. Louis, far too often rural communities are forced to increase taxes locally to sustain our schools. It’s time we have a voice in Jefferson City that will stand up for rural schools districts. An investment in our children now, is a savings later.

Growing up in rural Missouri is something I am proud of. As an NRA Member, I know that protecting second amendment rights is vital to our culture.  However, Johnson County is home to a fantastic school, the University of Central Missouri. My husband Jason is a professor at UCM, and like over a thousand families in our community, we want them to have a safe working environment. The last thing our professors, university employees – and most importantly UCM students – need is the fear of an angry student having a weapon in class.

Allowing weapons to be carried in the classroom and on campus provides a ripe environment for crime and abuse in our community. Off campus, as long as they get a conceal and carry permit and are law abiding citizens, they have every right to carry their weapon.

We need a representative who stands with our local police, campus police and university personnel to protect our college, community and our guns. Not one that sacrifices lives to stand with their political party.

Speaking of protecting life, my daughter Mackenzie is two and she is my world. As a mother, I understand that protecting life is important to our community. If we protect life, then we must protect those things that better life. Not just things that advance a political agenda. Johnson County deserves someone in Jefferson City, who is willing to stand up for what’s best for our community, not our political party.

Whiteman Air Force Base is vital to our community. Missouri needs to be competitive in attracting companies focused on military based products here to Johnson County. Most importantly, during a time of war we must always stand up for better pay and benefits for our veterans because it is their families who make great sacrifices to defend our freedom. As your representative, I will defend our veterans and families.

In closing let me say this. With our towns built on family, faith and togetherness, these tough times are something that we can overcome.

When we come together – as Democrats, Republicans and Independents – we can achieve great things. However, partisan politics, greed and corruption are standing in the way of progress in Jefferson City. Because of this, it us, in communities throughout Johnson County, that suffer.

Large dollar agenda donors and special interests groups have bought the law. If they don’t get their way, at the snap of a finger tens of thousands of dollars are used to stop progress. We must change this.

This type of pay-for-play politics is bankrupting our cities and using our tax dollars to line pockets of the few. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

So please, go to my website http://www.VoteCourtneyCole.com. Sign up, volunteer, request a yard sign and support my campaign. Most importantly, next November, I am asking for your vote.

I look forward to speaking with you at community events or in your neighborhood. Working together, we can achieve great things…

Photos by Kevin Morgan.