The Missouri Senate District 3 seat vacated by Gary Romine last month is in play for the Nov. 3 election, and Farmington resident Joshua Barrett is making a bid for it.
He plans to file later this month in Jefferson City, joining Farmington auto dealer Kent Scism for the Republican primary vote on Aug. 4. Filing begins Feb. 25 and ends March 31.
Gov. Mike Parson announced Jan. 27 he had appointed Romine as chairman to the State Tax Commission, which is composed of three members chosen from the two major political parties. They are appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to hold staggered terms of six years. Romine’s former senate seat will be unfilled until the Nov. 3 election.
Barrett announced his intentions for the seat Wednesday morning via political consultant Brett Dinkins with Victory Enterprises of Clayton.
Barrett, a retired combat engineer with the U.S. Marine Corps, served more than eight years in the Marines, including three combat tours overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Originally from St. Louis, Barrett moved to Farmington in February 2013, having medically retired from the Marine Corps.
“My wife's family had a farm in the area and needed help taking care of it,” he said. “We knew we wanted to be in the country, not the city, and so we checked out the schools and the area and thought it would be a great place to raise our kids.”
He and his wife, Lauren, have three sons: Tristan, 13; Gavin, 11; and Brayden, 8. Barrett added they also have two rescue dogs in the family, Maddie, a 6-year-old German Shepherd and Fitzgerald, a 2-year-old Black Lab.
He works part-time with campus police at Mineral Area College and serves on the board of directors for his family company, United Technology Solutions, which offers consulting and software implementations.
He says he has worked extensively in cybersecurity, management and public policy, which has given him a unique perspective that he believes will help him in the Missouri Senate.
“After much encouragement from members of the community and prayerful consideration, I’ve decided to run for State Senate to stand up for our shared conservative values,” Barrett said. “I am a lifelong conservative and combat veteran who will support our president and fight like a Marine to protect our rights here in Missouri.”
Barrett said he wants to reduce government influence and cut back on what he says are overreaching regulations on small businesses and working families. He said he will promote community economic development and focus on growing the economy while also making Missouri friendly to law-abiding gun owners.
“Missouri is a great state because we value our freedom,” Barrett said. “I will always protect your right to bear arms in this state and push back against gun-grabbing measures like ‘red flag’ laws.”
Barrett said he is “100% pro-life,” with no abortion exceptions for rape or incest.
“What that means to me is that all life has meaning and value, regardless of the circumstances surrounding creation, from conception to natural death,” he said, adding he supports increased resources to crisis pregnancy centers, easing the adoption process and providing greater prenatal and postnatal care.
During his time in the military, Barrett said he served in Iraq and Afghanistan and gained a new appreciation for freedoms here in the United States. In addition to serving with the Marines, he was an offshore logistics coordinator, working with system engineers and logistics coordinators and overseeing customs for barges, helicopters and boats involved in the offshore operations of his ship 250 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
He worked with MasterCard in global security operations and later as an implementation engineer. He said he monitored the international security network for MasterCard to ward off cyber security attacks.
“Our group had to monitor geopolitical events that could become issues for any of their offices domestically and abroad. If there was turbulence in a country where an office was located we had to monitor to ensure our employees and information was secure,” he said. “We also oversaw emergency response such as helping get people flights out if needed. This was about 117 offices worldwide. Sometimes this meant working with the CIA if a security threat or cyberattack was occurring.”
As an implementation engineer, he said his team was tasked with identifying errors and coding in online programs being rolled out by Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies before they went public.
“We would work with coders to fix any system problems. Basically we were the ‘engineers’ of the implementation process,” he said. “When they wanted to roll out a new system we were there to figure out what could go wrong and keep it from going wrong.”
Barrett said he always felt a calling to public service and his mission is to protect the Missourians’ rights in the state capitol, “protecting their values, their tax dollars, and their families.”
“I answered my country’s call to service in the wake of 9/11 and led Marines on some of the most notable battlefields in the War on Terror. Now, raising my young children and thinking about how this race will impact their lives, I came to the final analysis that we need a true conservative to fight for the next generation’s future and I am willing to be that conservative voice,” Barrett said.
Although born in Saint Louis, Barrett said he moved to Farmington to live in a community that reflected his values and would be a safe place to raise his family. He attends St. Louis Family Church in Chesterfield and is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), National Rifle Association (NRA), Heritage Foundation, and the Wounded Warriors Alumni.
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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