Ten seek Democratic nod for Congress
First of two parts
Ten candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District seat currently held by Richard Gephardt, D-south county, in the Tuesday, Aug. 3, primary election.
The 10 candidates — Joan Barry, Michael Bram, Russ Carnahan, Mike Evans, Mariano Favazza, Jo Ann Karll, Corey Mohn, Jeff Smith, Mark Smith and Steve Stoll — are seeking the Democratic nomination to the seat Gephardt has held since 1976. He is not seeking re-election.
The Democratic nominee will square off in November against either Republican Bill Federer or Joan McGivney and Libertarian Kevin Babcock.
Candidates featured in this article are Karll, Mohn, Jeff Smith, Mark Smith and Stoll.
Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, the candidates responded:
• "Getting our troops out of Iraq, except for limited peacekeeping forces in conjunction with the U.N. (United Nations),'' Karll said. "The U.S. will be safer; electing Kerry will allow a fresh start with our former allies to help rebuild relations with the world.''
• "I believe the single most important issue facing our country today is the war in Iraq because the impact of this war on our economy and international standing has been — and will continue to be — disastrous. The war has been a massive failure. Since the beginning of the aggressions, George W. Bush's underlying premises for war have crumbled away,'' Mohn said, noting, "No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq (and) the 9/11 Commission found no plausible link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda ...''
• "Healthcare: I will work for a universal, single-payer health insurance system,'' Jeff Smith said. "Our system of private health insurance is based on the principle of avoiding the sick people and is thus broken. Forty-four million people are uninsured and rising costs endlessly squeeze families and businesses alike. Moreover, our system is completely inefficient. There are more people employed in the field of medical billing — 3.6 million — than there are doctors and nurses combined — 3.2 million. We spend more on health care than every other industrialized nation, yet don't cover one in seven citizens. None of this will change unless we change the system of health-care delivery.''
• "Health care. I will fight for legislation to expand health care coverage to all Americans and eliminate inefficiencies that inflate the cost of health care in the current system,'' Mark Smith said, "I have a specific plan to lower drug costs for Americans. More than 40 million Americans have no insurance coverage and health-care costs for workers with insurance coverage have increased 13 percent in the last year.''
• "People throughout the area want to make sure that Congress is doing what it can to help the economy,'' Stoll said. "People who are willing to work hard deserve the chance to earn a decent salary and have health insurance. There is a lot that Congress can do to make sure that economic incentives go to create jobs and opportunity for working families. Right now, I am afraid that the Republican tax cuts are just helping to line the pockets of wealthy Americans.''
Karll, 55, High Ridge, is an attorney. She and her husband, Bill Herlund, have three grown children (step).
Karll was elected District 104 state representative in 1990 and District 105 state representative in 1992. Karll, who currently serves on the North Jefferson Ambulance District board, is seeking her party's nomination to the 3rd Congressional District seat "to serve the citizens of the district and work to rebuild our position as a world leader.''
Mohn, 27, St. Louis, 63116, is a city planning consultant and small-business owner. He is single.
Mohn said he is seeking his party's nomination "because I wanted a candidate to stand up, speak from the heart, and talk about issues. Too often candidates make excuses for why problems have not been solved and give reasons action has not been taken in Washington. Personally, I'm fed up and want solutions. That is why my campaign slogan is "stop whining, start 'mohning'" — because I believe the time has come for discussing what can be done to make America a better place ...''
Jeff Smith, 30, St. Louis, 63116, is an adjunct lecturer at Washington University. He is single.
Jeff Smith did not give a reason why he is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 3rd District congressional seat.
Mark Smith, 44, St. Louis, 63117, is associate dean of student services at the Washington University School of Law. He and his wife, Lisa Braun, have three children ages 8, 6 and 3.
Mark Smith, who served as president of the St. Louis Police Board from 1999 to 2003, said he is seeking his party's nomination "to help steer our country back on the right track by creating high-paying jobs and quality health.''
Stoll, 57, Festus, is a former classroom teacher. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children.
Stoll was elected to the Missouri House in 1992 and re-elected in 1994 and 1996. Since 1998, Stoll has served in the Missouri Senate. He said he is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 3rd District congressional seat "to continue my service to the people of Missouri.''