In an election, an opportunity

DanThe Summer Olympics in Brazil were exciting. The baseball season had its usual thrills. There’s plenty of good football — and tailgating — to look forward to in Kansas City and Columbia.

But all in all, there is nothing bigger than the contest happening in your town on Nov. 8.

I’ll forgive you if by now you’ve become jaded by the months of negative campaigning and opinionated journalism. However, try to look past that and consider the uniqueness of the election in which you are about to participate.

On Election Day, we will choose both a new president and a new governor — with no incumbent in either race. We also have a competitive U.S. Senate race and several impactful ballot issues to decide here in Missouri. Oh, and most of our statewide elected offices are on the ballot — with no incumbents running in any of those races. It’s hard to remember an election quite like this.

So, on Nov. 8, you will make your individual choices in all these races. Then, later that evening, we will learn whom we’ve collectively chosen. The results will be a snapshot of our society, a direction we’ve chosen as reflected by the people we’ve picked to lead us there.

Undoubtedly that moment will be dominated by news of the new president. But here in Missouri, we will also begin anticipating the transition of power to a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer.

All of these leaders will be new to their jobs. They will bring with them their own agendas. There will be a surge of fresh energy in government.

Conversely, the influx of new ideas creates a purge of the old ones — and that’s not always a good thing.

One of the concerns we’ve heard from the business community is about the knowledge and consistency that are lost during these transitions. We’ve long needed a mechanism to ensure that an understanding of how to improve our economy is carried over from an outgoing administration to an incoming one. In the past, it’s often been like starting over from square one with each new elected leader.

That’s one of the reasons we created Missouri 2030. It is designed to serve as a vehicle — independent of the government — that houses the agenda and the ideas of the business community. It’s not something that dies with each political transition. It will remain relevant no matter who is elected.

In fact, it’s likely to become even more relevant than ever. Since we announced Missouri 2030 in early 2015, we’ve been sharing our findings and ideas with business leaders statewide. We’ve also been sharing them with state lawmakers and other elected leaders. I’ve personally met with both governor candidates, and I know both understand how important Missouri 2030 is to the future of our state’s economy.

I have every reason to believe this election will be a turning point where Missouri 2030 becomes a core part of the policy discussion in our state.

You can help make this happen. As you research your choices before Election Day, please use the Missouri Chamber PAC’s Election Center website to learn where the candidates stand on the important business issues included in Missouri 2030.

Just type in your home address and the site will automatically generate the right list of candidates for you to compare and contrast.

Happy Election Day!

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