Incumbent faces challenges from Democrat and Independent in 6th District congressional race

Republican incumbent Sam Graves will face-off against Democratic candidate Bill Hedge and Independent candidate Russ Monchil for Missouri’s 6th district seat in the United States House of Representatives Nov. 4.

Missouri’s 6th district representative seat is up for grabs this November, and the wide variety of candidates ensures that it will be one to keep track of in the months to come. The incumbent Sam Graves faces the Democratic candidate who identifies as a moderate conservative and to Independent Russ Monchil, a self-identified Libertarian.

The Republican incumbent Sam Graves has served as the sixth district’s representative since 2000. With a bachelor’s in agronomy from the University of Missouri Columbia, he serves as chairman for the small business committee and as a member of the transport committee. Graves describes himself as fiscally conservative and voted yes to suspend the rules and pass the E-Label Act. Graves’ main concern is supporting small business, which is his reasoning for being opposed to the EPA act. Aside from small business, other key elements of Graves’ campaigns are US energy independence and strengthening the middle class. The campaign finance for his race this year has totaled to $716,174.

Democratic candidate Bill Hedge won the primary vote this August by a large margin. A current pastor, Hedge has focused much of his career on education and recently earned a Doctorate of Education at University of Missouri Columbia. Hedge outlined his top priorities as rebuilding the middle class, equality for women, effective and efficient government, and improving health care accessibility. He coined himself “the right man at the right time”, believing his open social policies mixed with fiscal responsibility may be enough to sway voters away from the incumbent this year.

Last is the Independent candidate, Russ Monchil. Like Democratic candidate Hedge, Monchil has no past experience in a political career, but instead works for the hotel industry at the Kansas City International Airport (MCI). However, he is an active committee member with the Libertarian party in his local township. While Monchil is socially liberal, his prime focus in that area is the legalization and taxation of marijuana, which gave him attention from state wide Political Action Committees (PAC) whose goal is for legalization. Other aspects of his platform are the full support of the second amendment and protecting the environment. Despite the obstacle of party affiliation, Monchil has managed to successfully earn a seat on the Mirabile School Board. Monchil believes in a candidacy for the people, funded by the people,rather than relying on what he calls “the large pockets of special interest money.”

While Graves may be leading in what appears to be a comfortable reelection. If wanting to participate in the Nov. 4 election, be sure to register by 5:00pm on the fourth Wednesday prior to the election.


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