It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
In the race for Missouri's 137th Legislative District, Republican Ronald Day is hoping to unseat Democrat Charlie Norr. Both see health care and welfare reform as the most important issues to the district, but have differing views on how to handle them. KSMU's Benjamin Fry sat down with Ron Day at one of his favorite places to eat.
Ziggie's Cafe on Kearney Street is where you can find Ron Day at least twice a month.He says he likes the variety and the fact that you can have breakfast any hour."Breakfast, any time you want to; they've got some excellent breakfast, and they've got some Greek dishes on the menu," he said.Day is also familiar to the behind-the-scenes aspects of the restaurant business.He worked at a small restaurant down Kearney Street during high school."A little old drive-in restaurant you've probably never heard of called Fisher's Highboy, and I worked up to, at one point was assistant manager at that restaurant," he said.Day is a native of Springfield and has lived in the district he's hoping to represent for most of his life.As for the few times he didn't live there.."I was out of place, but I knew I was out of place and got back as soon as I could," he said.After getting out of the restaurant business, Day became involved with the Assemblies of God Headquarters and works there to this day.He started out as a layout artist before making paperback books.Day says faith plays a big part in some of the issues he's running on."I am extremely pro-life and pro-family values, and by that I mean that traditional marriage is what I support and I believe in pro-life issues," he said.Day supports the local Pregnancy Care Center, and in the past he's helped out at its events.But one of the most important issues to this Republican first arose back in 2006, the year Day ran for the representative seat, but lost in the primary.Earlier that year, Governor Matt Blunt had made changes to the state's Medicaid program."And he had north Springfield all upset because they thought they were going to lose their welfare," he said.Day says before these changes, people who didn't need Medicaid were still on the program.He believes because of this, the large number of people getting Medicaid benefits diverted state funds from education and transportation and raised taxes.As a result, Blunt decided to revamp the program and start over by making stricter qualifications for who would receive Medicaid benefits.This cut thousands off the program.Still, Day says he supports Governor Blunt's Medicaid cuts."Most of those people that didn't qualify for the Medicaid under the new plan knew they didn't qualify under the old plan if you actually went by the records, so they didn't even try to sign up again, but I don't believe they need to be on Medicaid," he said.Day acknowledges that Medicaid is an important program, and that it serves its purpose in his district.He hopes to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the new program.Day says a major issue in the district is poverty, which includes the large number of people living in low-income housing."I would like to see those people get off the social programs if they can, to get a good job, and I would be in favor of helping them get training to get new jobs," he said.He points out that some are unable to get a job due to a handicap, and that he would like to see their income go up.In campaigning, Day has been using the dial keys rather than the door-bell.Medical conditions don't allow him to get around very well, so he's been getting the word out over the phone.Come election time, Day's hoping voters will be looking for change at the local level."I want to offer the voters a conservative alternative," he said.For KSMU news, I'm Benjamin Fry.