About the Candidates

Josh Hawley for U.S. Senate
Raised in Lexington, Missouri, Josh Hawley currently serves as the state’s Attorney General. As Missouri’s top prosecutor, Josh has earned a reputation for taking on the big and the powerful to protect Missouri workers and families. He has battled big government and big business, the special interests, organized crime, and anyone who would threaten the wellbeing of Missourians.

Before he became Attorney General, Josh fought Obamacare at the Supreme Court — and won — as one of the lead attorneys in the landmark Hobby Lobby case. Josh was also a lead attorney in the Hosanna-Tabor case at the Supreme Court, protecting the rights of churches.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Saundra McDowell for State Auditor
Saundra always planned to enact change with a law degree, but she put those ambitions on hold for the military. Saundra joined up with the US Air Force, serving overseas in the aftermath of 9/11.

Following eight years of military service, Saundra pursued a career in law. After attending both Oxford and Drake University, Saundra gave legal justice to victims who suffered nursing home abuse, vehicular injury, and damage from defective medications. Later she worked as a contract lawyer, aiding veterans and the elderly with disability claims.

As her career progressed, Saundra became the Director of Enforcement for Missouri’s Secretary of State. There she and her team rooted out fraud and prosecuted corrupt institutions, returning millions to Missourians.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Vicky Hartzler for U.S. House of Representatives, 4th District
Vicky is a life-long farmer, former public schoolteacher, small business owner, and public servant. Vicky and her husband, Lowell Hartzler, own a company with four farm equipment stores. It was her small business acumen that led Governor Matt Blunt, in 2005 to appoint her Chair of the Missouri Women’s Council. During her three-year term, Vicky implemented new and effective programs to help women achieve their economic goals. She was first elected to public office in November of 1994 as the State Representative from Missouri’s 124th District and served three terms in the Missouri legislature. Prior to her time in public service, Vicky taught family and consumer sciences for 11 years in the Lebanon and Belton school districts.

Vicky is a life-long Cass County resident, where today she lives with Lowell and their daughter, Tiffany, on a working farm. She is a graduate of both the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983 and Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) in 1992, graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Education from MU and a M.S. in Education from UCM.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Cheri Toalson Reisch for State Representative, 44th District
Cheri has more than 30 years of experience in public service. Cheri is a 6th generation Boone Countian. Her grandparents, father Dale Toalson and two sons — Jason & Eric — all graduated from Hallsville High School with Cheri. Her experience and resume includes being a Certified Municipal Clerk, Certified Court Administrator and a Missouri Registered City Clerk.  Cheri is a member of the National Rifle Association, the Hallsville Chamber of Commerce, Boone County REDI, CERT Team, Hallsville Historical Society and the Hallsville Church of Christ. Cheri’s family was a founding family of the University of Missouri in 1839.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Cathy Richards for State Representative, 46th District
Cathy was the Boone County Public Administrator for eight years  (2008 until 2016).

Cathy was Vice President, then President of the Missouri Association of Public Administrators (2014 until 2016).

• Masters Degree in Counseling from  Stephens College
• B.S. in Business Management from William Woods University with an emphasis in Human Resources.
• Associate’s Degree from Columbia College
• Office manager for the Boone County Commission for 8 years (2000-2008)
• Accepted into Nursing School August 2003
• 40-year resume of pertinent work experience

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Chuck Basye for State Representative, 47th District
Rep. Chuck Basye, a Republican, represents parts of Boone, Howard, Cooper and Randolph Counties (District 47) in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2014.

In addition to his legislative duties, Rep. Basye is retired from Federal Aviation Administration. He served as an air traffic controller in Kansas City and Columbia, MO from 1984-2014. Rep. Basye served in the United States Marine Corps from 1976-1980.

Rep. Basye attended St. Charles High School in St. Charles, MO. In 1991 he received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

In 2012, Rep. Basye was elected to serve as the President of the Columbia Pachyderm Club. He is also a member of the Mizzou Alumni Association, Farm Bureau, and Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Sara Walsh for State Representative, 50th District
Sara is a graduate of both Columbia College (Associate in Science, Business Administration ’02; Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, Marketing ’05) and the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Truman School of Public Affairs (Master in Public Affairs, Non-Profit Management and Public Management ’09), a past board member of Missouri Right to Life, past 40 Days for Life volunteer, past volunteer receptionist for Open Arms Pregnancy Resource Center in Jefferson City, Joplin Tornado Relief volunteer, past Central Missouri Honor Flight volunteer, past church involvement coordinator for the National Day of Prayer Task Force in Jefferson City, and currently serves as treasurer of Heritage Baptist Church in Columbia where she and her husband participate in various community outreach efforts including the Central Missouri Food Bank, My Life Clinic, and caroling for seniors at Christmas.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Keep Judge Brouck Jacobs
Brouck Jacobs is the Division 1 Circuit Court Judge for Boone and Callaway Counties in the 13th Judicial Circuit. In this position, Judge Jacobs has presided over thousands of cases and multiple jury trials.

Judge Jacobs handles general civil, criminal, and juvenile cases. He strives to treat everyone in his courtroom with fairness and courtesy, and he looks forward to continuing to serve the people of Boone and Callaway Counties.

Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Jacobs served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Boone County and Saint Louis County, and as a prosecutor in the State of Florida.  In that role, he was in courtrooms nearly every day and tried over fifty jury trials.

Judge Jacobs is married to Janie, a pediatrician at Tiger Pediatrics in Columbia. They have a 2 year old son, William, and infant daughters, Alice and Charlotte.  Judge Jacobs is a former board member for the Daniel Boone Regional Library, which oversees the Columbia Public Library and the Callaway County Public Library. He and his family are active members of their church.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Keep Judge Josh Devine
From the Columbia Missourian:
Devine, 37, is running for Division 11 Boone County associate circuit judge , a job then-Gov. Eric Greitens appointed him to fill in February. It’s his first election bid, and the black-and-gold signs reading “Keep Judge Josh Devine” are scattered around Columbia.

“I think it’s impossible for you to understand what’s going on in your courtroom unless you understand what’s going on in your community,” he said.

Devine is a Columbia native who graduated from Hickman High School in 1999 and attended law school at MU.

“This is home,” he said.

He said his father influenced his career path. The late Jim Devine was a professor and associate dean at the MU School of Law, where he worked for 30 years, and he also worked briefly as a judge in Iron County.

As a kid, Josh Devine would watch his dad teach trial practice at MU. Devine inherited his father’s love for baseball and Bruce Springsteen, along with his passion for the law, which he takes very seriously.

“We have to always look for ways to further the administration of justice,” he said.

That is how he views his job as a judge — to be honest and in accordance with the law.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Matt Cavanaugh for Presiding Commissioner
Matt decided to move to Columbia in 1989 from Colorado to attend the University of Missouri.  Ready now to devote his time to his education, Matt studied economics and Japanese with the intention of becoming a trader for a Japanese firm. Always the entrepreneur, while in school, he and a classmate formed a company they called Ecotechnology, that collected soil samples from properties with petroleum tanks on them.  Two years later, as part of a university program, he moved to Tokyo to attend the Sophia University Japanese Language Institute.

A year later, Matt returned to Missouri and invested time and energy into his new company.  Within four years, Matt had 60 employees and bought the Southwestern Bell building in Fulton to serve as his office.  After creating yet another successful business, he sold his interests in that endeavor in 1994 and began assisting a cousin of his with his women’s clothing company—Montaldos—in Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis.

A year later, on vacation in Belize, Matt had the idea of creating multi-day adventure tours there, so he bought 68 acres of land and built Casa Maya, a resort located in San Ignacio, Belize. From there he operated several canoe trips and popular cave trips.

With his wife and stepfather, Tom Jennings (the inventor of the compound bow) they purchased property in Port Royal, Roatan in Honduras, and built Royal Playa Dive Resort. They opened it in 2004. He continued to run Royal Playa Resort until 2018 when he sold the property.

From 2013 until 2015, Matt consulted for Five Diamond Resort Management of Keystone, Colorado. Today, he is a developer and owns three houses in Boone County.  His son is enrolled in Columbia Public Schools as a 5th grader.

Matt is fluent in Spanish and Japanese. He is a well-versed businessman who has a continual flow of innovative ideas and the business acumen to make them a reality. He’s not a talker, but a doer. He has real world experience and a vision for Boone County’s future.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Taylor Burks for Boone County Clerk
In my first 8 months as County Clerk, I’ve found $140,000 in savings in the Clerk’s core budget—a 7% savings in both 2017 and 2018. We’ve also saved around $100,000 in election costs, without impacting the quality of elections that we expect in Boone County. I’m committed to saving even more, and being transparent with Boone Countians with our election spending.

In 2016, our election systems were seriously targeted by other countries who wanted to do us harm. Because of the political rancor during and after the election, this became a partisan issue. One thing is clear: our enemies in other countries want to attack our elections. This isn’t about social media influencing, but legitimate attempts to attack the systems we use to secure our voter data. As a Navy veteran of 11 years, I know something about protecting our data. I’ve been asked to co-chair the statewide cyber-security taskforce for County Clerks and Local Election Authorities, and will continue to lead efforts in this state to harden our election system.

The best way to protect our democratic institutions is to mentor and pass on those principles to our next generation of citizens. This year, I started the Youth Election Program in Boone County, to bring sophomores, juniors, and seniors in to polling place during the April elections. These students will help our regular election judges, assist in operating the polling place, and see firsthand the important of local elections. From that group, we will select two students for paid internships through the summer. These students will get in-depth experience in working inside an election office, and be expected to work a voter registration or youth engagement event for their fall semester.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.

Lisa Ballenger for Boone County Recorder of Deeds
Lisa has lived in the Boone County for close to 40 years now. She is married to Gary and they live on a small farm east of Columbia. They are also part of a small family business known as Ballenger Propane that has been serving the area since 1967. When Lisa is not working, she enjoys being with her family, spending time outside enjoying nature and recently started a little business called Isa Oy 360 Art Designs LLC. She loves to create paintings with watercolors and acrylic glass designs on canvas, and travels around in-and-out of state to different festivals selling her Art.

Growing up on the farm taught her the value and reward of hard work. After high school, she had the distinct privilege of developing skills in public service and leadership from none other than Sam Walton at Wal-Mart. Encouraging others, instilling positive attitudes and developing efficiencies are some of the work and life skills she learned during her time there, and these skills carried in to her work in the Recorder’s Office. Retired Recorder of Deeds Bettie Johnson hired Lisa in 1991 as a deputy recorder, so for over 27 years now she has been recording the future and preserving the past.

Visit the campaign website for additional information.