A local school board member has quietly announced his candidacy for the 107th District.
Without press conference, Brad Robinson, a North County school board member and vice president of Operations and Development Engineering for The Orchard L.C. Development Corporation, formally announced his intention today to run for 107th District State Representative as a Democratic candidate.
The 107th District is represented by Dan Ward, also a Democrat, who has begun his campaign for the state Senate. Robinson will run against Curt Boyer, a rural Bonne Terre man who announced his intentions to run for the 107th District in July. If a Democrat runs against Robinson, a primary election in August will decide who will run in the November 2004 election.
Robinson, who also lives in rural Bonne Terre, said he is not a newcomer to the political arena.
In the early 1990s, he became the youngest elected county official in the state when he was elected as an Iron County commissioner. He held that position for two terms. In addition, he also served as alderman for Pilot Knob.
Robinson was elected to the North County Board of Education in April. He said he was approached more than once about running for the 107th District during his campaign.
“The time is right for me to get back into the political swing,” Robinson said.
Accountability in education and improved transportation are a couple of issues Robinson plans to address during his campaign.
Robinson said he has some ideas pertaining to education but he will be listening to what the people have to say. He said he plans to “come in with a fresh view.” As far as the state budget goes, Robinson said there are ways to fix the budget but not without a lot of hard work.
“Political maneuvering has led to the financial problems facing the state,” he said. “These problems have forced the minimization and elimination of school programs.
“I understand this first-hand as a member of the North County R-1 School Board. Serving on this Board has provided me with the opportunity to speak and share thoughts and ideas with parents and administrators.”
Robinson feels transportation is another issue that needs to be addressed. He said he has serious concerns with U.S. 67 crossovers and some of the lettered highways in the district.
Robinson worked in design and construction for the Missouri Department of Transportation a few years and feels his working relationship with the department could be beneficial.
“As a former MoDOT employee and current member of the local ad-hoc committee for better roadways, I understand the critical nature of the issues involved in transportation,” he said.
“These range from the elimination of all crossovers along Highway 67 to the improvement of lettered roadways. My extensive background in all phases of design and construction gives me insight whereby both lives and tax dollars will be saved.”
Robinson has been active in the conceptual development of the Orchard project, planning and construction of Old Orchard Road, renovation and expansion of Bonne Terre Memorial Library and the new elementary school in Bonne Terre.
“My years in political service along with my current employment have provided me with a strong understanding of state and local government legislation and its impact on revenue issues,” he said. “I have an understanding of financial-based programs such as general revenue funds, tax allocations and tax increment financing.”
When asked about the concealed weapons law which is on hold, Robinson said there are some strong points about the bill but there are also areas of the bill that would concern people. For example, school boards and courthouses are having to pass resolutions/ordinances to keep concealed weapons off their properties.
Robinson said he is not opposed to the bill but he hopes the good points of the bill will outweigh the bad.
Robinson’s wife, Tara, is a nurse at Country Meadows. They have two sons, Brandon, a North County graduate who is attending Meramec Junior College, and Colten, a seventh grader at North County.
The Robinson family has been active in youth athletics. Robinson has been involved with AAU basketball and Babe Ruth baseball for more than 12 years. He works with the North County Baseball Board and hosts youth athletic tournaments throughout the year.
“I am very excited and optimistic about the election,” Robinson said. “You can be assured that I will represent the 107th District to the best of my ability. The guidelines for this office are clear. I will maintain a high level of integrity. I will be a highly visible representative for the people. I pledge to be an ethical, responsible and effective state legislator representing the 107th District.”
Robinson said the law says he can be both a school board member and a state representative. Robinson has not made the decision whether he would step down as a school board member if elected to the House.
Robinson graduated from Arcadia Valley High School. He earned an associate’s degree in civil and construction technology at Mineral Area College. He attended Southwest Missouri State and has completed 80 hours of government and administration classes as specialty training required by Missouri’s association of county commissioners.