Last Week we sat down for a conversation with Senator Scott Rupp who is running for Secretary of State. We think you will enjoy learning a little more about this family man who is seeking to replace Robin Carnahan.
SEMO TIMES: Tell our readers about you and your family.
Senator Rupp:I am from Wentzville where my wife and are raising 5 kids all under the age of 10. When I got out of college I started 3
small businesses then I served in the House before serving in the Senate where I have tried to be a champion of conservative causes such as protecting life to fighting Obamacare while helping small businesses expand.
SEMO TIMES: You seem to have built up a record of accomplishment in the Senate and not been a seat holder. Explain a few of the things you are most proud.
Senator Rupp: I sponsored the bill to put prop C on the ballot, I wrote the law to stop the formation of the healthcare exchanges which are the building blocks of Obamacare, we stopped tax dollars paying going to pay for abortions through Obamacare, I wrote the illegal immigration law in Missouri. We have helped kids with autism and special needs, as well as working on protecting kids from cyber stalking.
SEMO TIMES: Tell us about your work on autism.
Senator Rupp: A lot of kids with autism were falling through the cracks so we created the autism commission and the office of autism to help the parents of kids diagnosed, and stopped insurance companies from discriminating against kids with autism. Kids with special needs are some of god’s most special creations in the world.
SEMO TIMES: What was your reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare?
Senator Rupp: I was hugely disappointed in the outcome. The only positive thing is that they did stand up for a little bit of state sovereignty. The sad thing is they said they can tax us all into oblivion as individuals.
SEMO TIMES: In a story on PoliticMO that Governor Nixon was going to postpone his decision on Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion until after the election, the timing seems to smack of politics.
Senator Rupp: It certainly does, and that lack of leadership is sad. The only reason Missouri is one of the top 5 financially sound states in the country, with what is now a rare AAA bond rating is that we stopped Medicaid growth in our state and that is why our state is financially sound today. Governor Nixon ran for election against everything we did to stop the growth of Medicaid well he gets into office and does nothing to reverse it. He hides and and waits till after the election to make a decision. The governor seems to stick his finger in the wind to decide how to make up his mind. If he was for Prop C as he now claims to have been where was he when we were fighting for it?
SEMO TIMES: The Secretary of State’s office gets little publicity, last week Robin Carnahan did with the ballot language she came up with the Obamacare proposition.
Senator Rupp: Yes her language is laughable, it was absolutely egregious. She has had more ballot language overturned than any other Secretary of State in the history of the state. She has been pushing an agenda from day one. She pushes the ballot language to get people to vote the way she wanted them to vote.
SEMO TIMES: What is the process you will approach writing ballot language?
Senator Rupp: I think it comes down to electing people with integrity. The law is clear on how to write the ballot language, and hasn’t been an issue until Robin Carnahan
SEMO TIMES: Do you believe Robin Carnahan lacks the integrity to do a good job?
Senator Rupp: Yes I do. She has manipulated the ballot languages time and time again to produce the outcome she desires instead of following the law. Many people have suggested we establish a commission to write ballot language but to me that’s just handing off more power to bureaucrats. The buck has to stop somewhere, look at the new state senate and house lines you can’t hold them accountable for the mess they create.
SEMO TIMES: Do you feel liberals can trust you to write fair language on petitions they wish to bring to the voters?
Senator Rupp: Yes I feel we have always done our job with integrity at every station and I would work hard to do the job and do it with integrity. The job is a management CEO position not a partisan position.
SEMO TIMES: Your colleagues seem to speak highly of you. The most influential member of the General Assembly from southeast Missouri Jason Crowell said you were a serious legislator. How do you feel that experience in the senate will help you as Secretary of State?
Senator Rupp: You have to understand how the process works and how to navigate while not losing your core values.
SEMO TIMES: You are the only candidate endorsed by Missouri Right to Life. Why do you believe that is?
Senator Rupp: We have a track record of fighting for life either on stem cells or preventing tax dollars to going to pay for abortions if you go back and look at our track record we have consistently got the job done.
SEMO TIMES: You have mentioned you are pro-life. Does that include in cases such as rape and incest?
Senator Rupp: I am pro- life in every instance. A human life is precious no matter the circumstance and I am now and have always been pro-life.
SEMO TIMES: It seems the race has come down to you and Representative Schoellner why do you think you would be a better choice?
Senator Rupp: People want elected officials who can get the job done. They want leadership and they want people who get the job done. We have results on issues where we haven’t just filled the seat, but have written laws to get the job done. I have a business background where you have to get results. My background fits the office better than anyone else in the race.
SEMO TIMES: As far as the campaign is concerned obviously you are well served working with David Barkledge, a skilled veteran of statewide races, but where is your support the strongest?
Senator Rupp: We do the best with the person who has taken the time to really analyze the candidates we feel we win those candidates hands down. Parents of special needs kids are also real source of support for our campaign, and our base of geographic support is the St. Louis area obviously.
SEMO TIMES: Your website is a particularly impressive campaign site, who designed it?
Senator Rupp: My wife Carissa built it from scratch. She learned it from her previous business and after seeing how weak our previous website was and totally revamped it.
SEMO TIMES: What does your wife do?
Senator Rupp: She used to own a small boutique with her mother, but wants to get back into child advocacy. She of course raises our 5 kids, and I have to tell you is as intelligent as she is beautiful
SEMO TIMES: The Missouri Republican Party has recently has an abysmal record of winning statewide officer elections, and some have attributed it to a lack of competency at the top, are you worried about being handicapped in a statewide contest with a weak state party?
Senator Rupp: No, we have always relied on ourselves to run our campaigns. We were recently elected by 72% in a 58% Republican seat by just working hard. Now we may rely on the state party for some data or something, but we have always relied on our own campaign structure for support and financing.
SEMO TIMES: With property taxes becoming a big issue in the U.S. Senate race have you always paid your property taxes on time?
Senator Rupp: Yes, as painful as it at times for our family, we have always made it a point to pay our taxes when they were due. It’s really very important.
SEMO TIMES: Cardinal fan?
Senator Rupp: Yes.
SEMO TIMES: Where were you for game 6?
Senator Rupp: I was at home with the kids whooping and hollering.
SEMO TIMES: Favorite restaurant in St. Louis city?
Senator Rupp: In Columbia its C.J.’s Chicken Wings, in St. Louis anywhere that doesn’t have a kids menu, but probably Ruth’s Chris.
SEMO TIMES: What has been your favorite thing about SEMO that you have experience on the campaign trail?
Senator Rupp: That small town feel. People here are real and they are nice everywhere I go they have been very kind.
SEMO TIMES: Since Kirkpatrick almost every Secretary of State has either been impeached or ran for higher office. If you are successful is running for Governor or other higher office something you would entertain.
Senator Rupp: Not now. Our kids are way too young it’s not the right time for my family, but as they get older and as they do I want to be there for those things. Maybe if I’m still around politics when they are in college who knows, but I want to be Secretary of State. I never thought I would be in the state senate or running for Secretary of State. God has a plan for my life and we’ll see what is.
SEMO TIMES: Senator, thank you for your time.
Senator Rupp: Thank you.