Previously: Cass County Democrats 2012 Back to Blue Dinner: State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (D) (April 29, 2012)
“…we have to stop the ineffectiveness of the senior advocacy in this Lieutenant Governor’s office under Peter Kinder and give our seniors a voice. And I intend to do that…”
On Saturday night the Cass County Democratic Central Committee hosted their annual back to Blue Dinner in Belton, Missouri. Former State Auditor and current candidate for Lieutenant Governor Susan Monteel (D) was one of the featured speakers:
Susan Montee (D): …Thank you so much. It is, it is good to be back here and it is really great to be here as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
Um, although, you know, like most women I didn’t ever set out to run for political office. Statistics show that fifty percent less women than men even consider running for office. And of those thirty percent less actually run. So I ended up here because along the way I figured out if you want to make something happen sometimes you just have to step in and do it yourself. [laughter] And that’s how I ended up on the city council in St. Joseph. Doing that, I was following in the footsteps of another woman in Missouri. Harriet Woods ran for a city council spot because she wanted to get somebody to do something about a noisy manhole cover outside her house. Harriet Woods went on to be our first woman statewide elected official. In nineteen eighty-four she was elected Lieutenant Governor and we have not had a woman in that position since. And I intend to close that twenty-four year gap. [applause][cheers]…
…When you look at those intervening years, though, it is very noticeable, the very few women that actually make it to the statewide level. We have only had nine women elected to statewide office in the history of Missouri. Last, four years ago it was half. Three out of our six statewide officials were women. And this year we’re in danger of going to zero. And it all is dependent on this race because of all the Republicans and Democrats running for statewide office there are only five women running this year and they are all in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor. [laughter]
I, you know, I don’t even know what to say about that [laughter] except that, um, you know, six months ago I couldn’t get a single taker when I was the chair of the Democratic Party. Just a year ago I thought we had a candidate. Uh, we had a couple of people looking at it, but the Republicans also had a candidate. And by June Steve Tilley had amassed a million dollars in the bank and our candidates faded away. By Fall he had a million and a half and I had talked to everyone that would listen and yet we were all on a path to let him run unopposed. And it was very clear that he was gonna have so much money that he could spend money against all of our candidates and still have a lot left over to kick start his governor campaign is sixteen. And that was a scenario that I wasn’t gonna live with. And that is another time where I said [applause] you come in and do it yourself. [applause][cheers]
You know, I, I’m a team player. But I, I didn’t do it for that reason. I actually saw a path to victory. And I also saw how important the Lieutenant Governor’s office is. Our, our former Senator Tom Eagleton, uh, once said that Lieutenant Governor was the best job he ever had. You get up in the morning, you call over to the Governor’s mansion, say, is the Governor still alive, and if they say, yes, you can just go back to bed. [laughter] Uh, but in that joke is, is why we have to take this, uh, as very important. Because the primary responsibility of the Lieutenant Governor is to be Governor should the need arise. And so we should look at our candidates for this office with the same seriousness that we look at the top of the ticket. And I’m the only candidate of all four parties in this race that is ready to lead from day one. [applause]
I also [inaudible] in the [inaudible] duties of the office. As state Auditor I recognize firsthand the, uh, protections that are not there in our laws for our senior citizens. I found that, uh, when individuals were disqualified from working in child care centers they could still come in and work with our long term care facilities, that it didn’t matter that they had had a history of abuse. Now we have to stop the ineffectiveness of the senior advocacy in this Lieutenant Governor’s office under Peter Kinder and give our seniors a voice. And I intend to do that. [applause]
And there will never be a stronger advocate for veteran’s affairs. I come from a, a military family. My dad was a navigator in the Marine Corps. And when I was in second grade his plane was shot down. He is still missing in action in Viet Nam. My mom was thirty-two years old with four kids, one with a congenital heart defect. So I know exactly the type of challenges that face our military families. And we are going to have a lot more young soldiers coming back from Afghanistan and our needs are great. And I will work tirelessly to make sure that our military families get what they earn and deserve the way that I did, because I went to college on the GI Bill. [applause]
And I, uh, I do have a primary. You know, things change. Uh, Steve Tilley took all his campaign money and bought a bank, uh, because our ethics laws allow that. Uh, and so, suddenly this seemed like a winnable race and, and I’m glad. Winnable is good. If we all think it’s winnable we work a lot harder. Uh, but winnable does not mean easy. This is going to be a difficult race. One of the republicans is taking his checks in two hundred and fifty thousand dollar increments, ’cause our ethics laws allow that, too.
Uh, I, I’m confident that I, I will win this primary. I am twenty-five points up in a poll. I am top of the ticket out of eight. So I feel really good about that, but winning the primary isn’t what we’re trying to do here. It’s all about November. And if we don’t start working now we won’t be able to be successful in November. So despite that we, the fact that I have a primary and that there are friends in it, I’m asking you to be with me now….
….If we do, start working now we can win this in November. And I intend to do that….Thank you so much. [applause]