On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Republican Randy Jotte to the program for the first time.
Jotte is running against state Sen. Scott Sifton in the 1st Senatorial District, which takes in portions of St. Louis County. Since the 1st District is somewhat evenly divided between political parties, the Jotte-Sifton match-up is one of the most competitive state Senate contests in Missouri.
Jotte is a St. Louis native who received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University. He received a Fulbright Scholarship, and then attended Harvard Medical School. He moved to Chagrin Falls, Ohio, where he served several terms on that town’s council.
In 2001, Jotte and his family moved back to the St. Louis area. He’s an associate professor of emergency medicine at Washington University and works in the emergency department at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Jotte was elected to the Webster Groves City Council in 2004. He unsuccessfully ran for state representative in 2006 and the St. Louis County Council in 2010. But even though he was unsuccessful, he came relatively close to prevailing in those two Democratic-leaning districts. He also unsuccessfully sought the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2012 against Republican Ann Wagner.
Here’s what Jotte had to say on the show:
- Jotte says his number one priority if he’s elected to the Senate is improving the state’s Medicaid program. He says the money saved through making the program more efficient could be used for a number of purposes, including possibly expanding eligibility for the program.
- Unlike Sifton, Jotte says he in favor of “right to work,” which would bar unionized entities from requiring employees to pay dues as a condition of employment. “Any healthy organization has that accountability throughout,” he said. “And I think it will work out fine for all.”
- Another key difference between Sifton and Jotte is on abortion rights. While Sifton supports abortion rights, Jotte says he opposes abortion rights.
- Jotte says it’s hard to predict how GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump will affect his district, which includes much of unincorporated south St. Louis County. He says most people he talks to “aren’t talking about other parts of the ticket. ... Which is really what it should be about,” he said. “It should be about myself versus the other candidate. What are each individual offering?”
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies
Follow Randy Jotte on Twitter: @randyjotte
Music: “Corduroy” by Pearl Jam