As it stands now there’ll be a two-way race this spring for the Republican nomination for the Missouri House of Representatives 106th district seat. But this week saw a Democrat candidate step into the ring as well. Dr. David C. Cramp, former Farmington R-7 superintendent, announced he will be seeking the seat as a Democrat, running unopposed in the primary at this time.
Cramp’s announcement came as a group of friends, supporters and family members gathered on the parking lot of American Legion Post 416 in Farmington to hear the candidate make his intentions public. His wife and family members stood by his side. Several key figures from his former employment, the school district, were on hand to offer support.
“He asked if I would do this and I said I’d be glad to,” FHS Band Director Kurt Bauche said later of his giving the welcome to the crowd and formally introducing Cramp. “We of the 106th district would be happy to see him in Jefferson City,” Bauche said.
“I will work for senior citizens … I will work for education … and I will support our veterans of foreign wars,” Cramp assured. He told the group he intends to be a good advocate.
He went on to tell how he has a somewhat good understanding of the Education Foundation Formula, the formula passed by the legislature and used by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to funnel state funds to public school districts throughout the state.
“It’s embarrassing. There’s never been such a great assault on rural education. There’s something terribly wrong when we can’t buy books (and the students want the books), and (some of the urban) schools can’t spend all the money they have,” Cramp said. He was referring to the high dollars-per-pupil ratio available in some of the state’s school districts which still receive state funding, while some smaller, more rural districts are struggling to make due with little more than the state funding made available to them.
Cramp also said that, if elected, he would be looking out for more than the education system and students. A former member of the Army, and now semi-retired after nearly 30 years in education, he said seeing that senior citizens’ and veterans’ interests are addressed would also be a priority.
“There are some 19,000 people in this district. I need to find out what 19,000 people believe,” the candidate said of the road ahead of him in coming months.
Almost immediately after Cramp’s announcement, Eighth Congressional District Democratic Committee Treasurer Al Sullivan, himself a potential candidate for the 106th seat race, issued a release stating he would not be competing against Cramp for the Democratic candidacy.
“In late November I agreed with party leaders to form an exploratory committee regarding a possible campaign for the 106th legislative district … I will not be a candidate for the 106th district in 2004, and without reservation pledge my support to Dr. Cramp. I stand ready to assist his campaign in any manner he may see fit,” Sullivan said in the release.
Sullivan went on to say, “The chief responsibility of a political party is to offer the ‘best of the best’ to the voters. In the course of the exploration I discussed with people other potential candidates. That discussion has led myself and others to believe that for this time and place the ‘best of the best’ is Dr. David Cramp to be the next representative of the 106th.”
Sullivan has refiled for his position of committeeman for Pendleton Township and will continue to serve on the St. Francois County Ambulance Board.
As for Cramp, he added that his wife of more than 25 years, Kathy, is supportive of his desire to seek a political office at this time. Since shortly after his retirement from the school district last summer, Cramp has served as director of the Farmington Educational Foundation, a charitable organization formed for the purpose of assisting in the education of students of the Farmington R-7 School District.
As of this time Cramp will oppose either Dr. Steven Tilley or businessman Gary Romine, both men being Republican candidates, in the fall election.