Politically Speaking: Sen. Kraus expounds on his secretary of state bid | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: Sen. Kraus expounds on his secretary of state bid

Jul 13, 2016

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Sen. Will Kraus to the program.

The Lee's Summit Republican was on the program about a year and a half ago after he announced he was running for secretary of state. But the journoduo wanted to bring him back now that the GOP field in that competitive contest is set.


Kraus is squaring off against Jay Ashcroft in the GOP primary for secretary of state. Ashcroft was a guest on the show several months ago.

Before he was elected to the Missouri House in 2004, Kraus served an infantryman for the United States Army. He is one of several members of the Missouri General Assembly who served in Iraq in the early 2000s.

Since getting elected to the Senate in 2010, Kraus has emerged as one of that chamber's go-to people for passing high-profile bills. He handled a bill that gradually cuts Missouri income taxes if the state takes in enough general revenue. (Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of that measure was overridden in 2014. He also was the sponsor of a more far-reaching tax cut in 2013. That veto didn't get overridden.)

This year, Kraus handled a constitutional amendment to authorize the state to require government-issued photo identification at the polls. That measure will be before voters later this year. He also sponsored a statute implementing the voter identification program if voters approve the constitutional amendment. Nixon vetoed that bill earlier this month.

Here's what Kraus had to say during the show:

  • When asked about how his military service affected his view on legislating, Kraus replied: "When you've actually put your life on the line to defend this country for the freedoms, when you come back here you want to make sure we protect those freedom at almost any cost."
  • Kraus was critical of Ashcroft for launching an initiative petition to implement a photo identification requirement, but not turning in signatures. 
  • Ashcroft and Kraus are both strong supporters of a photo ID requirement. But Kraus said his ability to pass something through the legislature showcases an important contrast with his opponent. "I think you have a candidate in my case who has accomplished many great things," he said. "I've sponsored and passed the very first income tax [cut] in over a hundred years. I've sponsored and gotten voter ID done."
  • Kraus predicts that the controversy over likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's e-mails may energize Republican turnout in November. "I think, overwhelmingly, I don't see how people support Hillary Clinton. I mean, I just absolutely don't," he said. "If I'm in the United States military and I handled classified information the way she handled classified information, I'd be in jail."

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Will Kraus on Twitter: @Kraus4SOS

Music: "Standing on the Edge of Summer" by Thursday