Neosho City Council member Richard Davidson announced on Thursday that he will be a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives 160th district in 2018. Davidson will run for the seat currently held by Rep. Bill Reiboldt of Neosho, who has reached term limits. Davidson filed for the seat in Jefferson City.
"I have been serving the citizens of Neosho for the past nine years at council," said Davidson. "I served on the school district for little more than three years, prior to that. I have loved my time in public service, I have seen both on my time on the council, as well as 25 years in business. But things in Jefferson City - while they are OK - they can always be made better. I have been a tax payer advocate for the past nine years, I have been a pro business, pro economic guy for the past nine years. I want to bring those messages to Jefferson City and work to make all of Missouri and particularity Southwest Missouri a better place."
Davidson entered the public office back in April 2004 as a school board member of the Neosho School District. He served in that capacity until April 2007 and then was reappointed when (then) school board member Roger Wagner left and Davidson filled that position for about six months, which ended in 2008. He then ran for city council and won in 2009, then was reelected in 2012 and 2015.
"I originality had thought about it a couple of years ago, obviously (Bill) Reiboldt was termed limited," he said. "But then my wife came down with a brain tumor, we went to MD Anderson (in Houston, Texas), since she had brain surgery, my family and my wife became my focus and priority. But within the last few months, she has been given a clean bill of health and with that, it renewed my interest to consider serving the people of the 160th district. And speaking to a few people i consider close friends around the area, they encouraged me and with that encouragement made the decision pretty easy for me."
Davidson's term will end in April on the city council. Also on the ballot for the Aug. 7 election will be Neosho Mayor Ben Baker, for the 160th district.
Davidson said he will run on a couple of topics.
"One would be the way that we work to attract businesses," he said. "The other thing that I see from a business perspective is jobs in Missouri. On my last trip to China - which was over the
Christmas holiday - for the first time, I saw equipment in Chinese factories that was made in Germany .... we are losing our competitive advantage to China, we have to make sure that the laws that we write in the state of Missouri work to keep our businesses competitive. The key thing that we offer now is service and a more productive worker. We have to keep the laws in the direction of the state of Missouri working to make businesses competitive and make the environment they operate in pro-business."
In the upcoming weeks and months, Davidson will be hitting the streets.
"I will be getting out, meeting the people," he said. "I have had nine years to get to know the people of Neosho and they have got nine years to know me. The 160th is a much bigger animal, we will be out talking and networking with people. I look forward to getting the message out, for people to getting to know me and understanding my record for nine years on the city council. Hoping they will support me when the primary comes in August."