The American endorses Cort VanOstran for Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District
Something is happening in Missouri’s Second Congressional District. When we endorsed Cort VanOstran in the Democratic primary, we did so in part because he had demonstrated an unprecedented ability to challenge U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri), a three-term incumbent and Trump acolyte. He has outraised her in multiple quarters and helped to garner national attention for their race. Now, it looks like we were right. The most recent polling shows that VanOstran in a statistical dead heat with the incumbent Republican, an impressive feat considering that the GOP intentionally redrew the Second Congressional District years ago to try to make it a safe Republican district.
VanOstran’s message has resonated because he believes in the same things that the voters of the Second District believe in: affordable health care, strong public education, common-sense gun reform, getting money out of politics. He got in the race after Wagner voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including its protection of people with pre-existing conditions. VanOstran’s mother relied on an ACA plan at the end of her life, which makes this race personal for him. VanOstran’s story reminds voters how decisions made in Congress affect the lives of people here at home, a lesson Wagner seems to have forgotten.
At the same time, VanOstran has bucked the national trend by advocating for policies Democrats don’t often talk about, from lowering tax rates to increasing border security (without spending billions on a wall). He has pledged to join the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group in Congress committed to finding innovative ways to get politicians to cross the aisle and work together. And he has listened to his constituents by holding six town halls in just the past three months and promising to hold one at least four times a year once he is elected. Meanwhile, his Republican opponent still hasn’t held one single town hall in the district in her six years in office.
The voters of the Second Congressional District are independent-minded people. They deserve an independent-minded congressman, not a representative who thinks it is her job to vote with Trump 97 percent of the time, rather than show up to listen to the people she is sworn to represent. It is time for a change – in the district and in the nation, which would benefit greatly from Democrats retaking a House majority and gaining leverage to curb this this dangerous, destructive president. The St. Louis American strongly endorses Cort VanOstran for Congress for the Second Congressional District.