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Ryan Derks (L) is challenging eight-term incumbent Democrat Emanuel Cleaver.

VOTER GUIDE: 5th District race between Derks and Cleaver

The Obama-Biden ticket campaigned on a promise to fundamentally change America. Ryan Derks believes that change is well under way – and it’s not for the better.

Democrat incumbent Emanuel Cleaver

“This is much bigger than just politics,” the Republican candidate for Congress in Missouri’s 5th District told Metro Voice. “Right now, we are in the middle of a cultural war. It’s kind of a cold war and there are no bullets, but we are in the middle of a cultural war. Emanuel Cleaver has had 15 years and has gotten far too comfortable with this current situation we are in.

“We need someone who is brave enough to stand up, put their reputation on the line and say, `no, this is not right.’”

Derks grew up in Eastern Jackson County and earned a degree in finance from the University of Missouri in 2010. For the past decade, he worked as an investment manager with Ravenna Capital. In his role, he helps clients build wealth by strategically buying ownership in public companies, helping people across the state and country to secure

Ryank Derks, Republican Candidate.

their futures. He decided to take on Cleaver to help restore fiscally sound, limited government, both in the Fifth District and nationally.

“All of the easy answers were 50 or 60 years ago,” Derks said. “No matter what issue you bring up, there is not an easy solution. We need somebody who is strong enough to stand up and let both sides shout at them and hate them to get back to the Constitution. So this is absolutely a national issue as well. We need some strong people up there.”

The sprawling Fifth District encompasses Kansas City, Independence, Raytown, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs, as well as Jackson, Lafayette, Saline and Ray Counties. Cleaver, however, has focused on a narrow but loyal part of his constituency, Derks said.

“To be fair, if you’re not in the inner city, if you are in the country or even on the Ward Parkway side of Kansas City, you’re really not represented at all,” he said. “I grew up in the suburbs and know what it’s like. This very progressive liberal agenda right now that has been growing for the last generation wants to bring a lot more suffering out to the suburbs. The crime, the government housing, the government — everything will be the same way it is in the most destroyed communities of our inner cities across the country. They want to bring that out to the suburbs right now. I will by default have that voice in the back of my head.”

5th congresssional

Missouri’s 5th Congressional District.

Perhaps the biggest challenge that Derks faces is the mindset that after 15 years, some think another Cleaver victory is inevitable.

“I understand why people would think that,” he said. “Cleaver has far more money than I do, but what he doesn’t have is the respect of the community and the city. All things considered, when you look at the data, I need to spend all of my time in the black community east of Troost. I walk up and down those streets all day, and every day I hear the same stories. They are so fed up with his excuses, his slow-poking and all of his talk. Nothing is getting better; in fact, things are not even staying the same. They are getting worse and worse. I am seeing the most enthusiasm in the black communities of the inner city right now.”

That inevitability is being challenged this year with strong support in minority communities for President Donald Trump. A recent poll found the President’s approval among African Americans at 46%

Although Cleaver may have the word “reverend” before his name, Derks is far more closely aligned with conservative Christians on issues that matter most to them (see below). He encourages them to stand with him to make a difference in the closing days of his campaign.

“There are two ways to get involved,” he said “We have a very decentralized campaign. First, I have hundreds of supporters who are coming to our office and taking 200 or 500 flyers and putting them in doors in their neighborhoods. Second, I need people who are willing to stand at polling locations with a sign, shouting, `don’t forget to vote for Derks’. We found during the primary we got a couple hundred extra votes just by doing that.”

This is a strange election year for many reasons. One thing Democrats have not counted on is surging support for President Trump among African Americans and other minorities. A poll released by Rasmussen on Friday found the President’s approval rating at an astonishing 46 percent – up from 14 when he was first elected. Polls of Hispanics also find substantial and historic support – 66% approval in Florida.

For more information or to volunteer, visit www.ryanderks.com or email info@ryanderks.com.

Derks and Cleaver on the issues

KSHB-TV recently asked the Fifth District candidates their positions on a wide range of issues. These are their responses.

COVID-19

Do you believe wearing masks should be a requirement, recommendation or neither?
Derks: Recommendation
Cleaver: Recommendation

What role should federal officials play in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Information only, guidelines only, mandatory requirements for businesses but not individuals, mandatory requirements for businesses and individuals, or none of the above?
Derks: Information only
Cleaver: Guidelines only

Should locally owned small businesses receive a higher priority for CARES Act funding than publicly traded or multinational corporations?
Cleaver: Yes
Derks: Yes

Do you believe Americans should receive a second $1,200 Economic Impact Payment, otherwise known as a stimulus check?
Derks: Yes
Cleaver: Yes

HEALTH CARE

Do you support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?
Derks: Yes
Cleaver: No

Cleaver: “I voted for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and while it has accomplished a great deal of good it does need some refinements to improve health coverage and access. I strongly oppose eliminating or repealing the ACA.”
Derks: “The 10th Amendment clearly makes the ACA unconstitutional. Instead, continue to repeal laws and regulations at the federal level that make healthcare and insurance so expensive. Continue on what the president has done over the last 3 years: – EO requiring all medical providers to list prices – EO stop price gauging of insulin, epi pen, and more – EO fast track 1,200+ generic drugs – Right To Try – Americans can try unapproved treatments – EO Favored Nation to force international drug price competition – Medicare reform to stop overcharging and bring lawsuits – working to bring all medicine supply chain back to USA from China – plus tort reform and buying insurance across state lines.”

ABORTION

Cleaver: “The current law is well settled on this issue, which I support.”
Derks: ”Against abortion with exceptions for rape and incest. Limited after heartbeat. No taxpayer funding.”

Must be performed by licensed physicians.
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Oppose

Must be performed in a hospital after a specified point
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Oppose

Individual health care providers can refuse to participate
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Oppose

Public institutions can refuse to perform abortions
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Oppose

Private or religious institutions can refuse to perform abortions
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Oppose

IMMIGRATION

Cleaver: “Comprehensive immigration reform is needed which both ensures a path to citizenship, as well as strengthening our border security.”

Derks: “A country without borders is no country at all. Extremely strict but quick immigration system. We cannot have unlimited open social welfare and also open borders.”

GUN CONTROL

Cleaver: I support the second amendment. Ownership of guns and other weapons needs to be reasonable including background checks and restrictions on people that are unfit to carry guns.”

Derks: “Missouri’s gun laws are a good start for the entire country. No to micromanagement-styles law of individual’s rights to firearms. Our country has a mental-health crisis – not a gun crisis.”

Reporting mental health records to federal
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Support

Universal background checks 
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Gun safety training classes for concealed carry
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Requiring a concealed carry permit
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Right to carry confidentiality
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Oppose

Right to carry in restaurants
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Oppose

Gun dealer licensing
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver:  Support

Firearm owner licensing
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Firearm registration
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Assault weapon ban
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Oppose

Restrictions on high-capacity magazines
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Waiting period
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Local authority to regulate firearms and ammunition
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Oppose

Gun control
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

POLICING

Ban no-knock warrants
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Oppose

Ban physical restraints like throttleholds
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Mandate data collection on police encounters
Derks: Oppose
Cleaver: Support

Require body cameras
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Support

Limit military equipment used by police departments
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Support

Establish independent prosecutors for police investigations
Derks: Support
Cleaver: Support

Defunding Police
Cleaver: “I do not support defunding the police.”
Derks: “Defunding the police departments is the exact wrong direction. The police need to be able to hire more officers The police need more resources to help with their mental health after doing their tough jobs.”

LGBTQ RIGHTS

Do you believe the 1964 Civil Rights Act should protect gay, lesbian and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex?”
Cleaver: “Yes, with no exclusions.”
Derks: “Yes, excluding religious-based organizations.”

(Republican)

RYAN DERKS

Born and raised in Lee’s Summit, MO. Holds Bachelors from University of Missouri, Columbia. Employment: Lead, RHF Blockchain Investments (2017-2019); Wealth Management, Ravenna Capital-Berthel Fisher & Company (2010-2020). Organizer, Kansas City Crypto Talk (2107-2019).

Website statements include: “The character of people like George Washington inspired Ryan to champion preserving the blessings the founding fathers gave our country. You don’t need a raise – you need a government with a balanced budget, low debt, low spending, and low federal taxes. Fully audit the Federal Reserve; advocate and educate the benefits of a Gold Standard; fight against corporate welfare; reinstate a modern version of Glass-Steagall Act of 1933; eliminate the capital gains tax; eliminate or lower all taxes possible; eliminate unnecessary regulations that burden business owners. Abolish Department of Education; return the business of student loans back to the private sector; repeal Obamacare; allow pre-existing conditions to be covered by Medicare/Medicaid; fund and finish President Trump’s wall; punish business owners who are employing illegal immigrants; enforce VISA rules; end the welfare state for illegal immigrants; secure our national borders; bring home troops; ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed’; no abortion unless in case of rape, incest, or mortality; no taxpayer money for abortions; support Israel; embrace the 10th Amendment.

WEBSITE: https://ryanderks.com or https://www.facebook.com/realryanderks.

 

EMMANUEL CLEAVER II (Democrat, Incumbent)

Born in Waxahachie, TX. Married with four children; BS, Sociology, Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical University (1972); MDV, Divinity, Saint Paul School of Theology (1974); member, Kansas City, City Council (1979-1991); former mayor, Kansas City, MO; U.S. House of Representatives (2004-present); member, Financial Services Legislative Committee; Homeland Security; Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance; Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Secuity. Senior pastor, St. James United Methodist Church (1969-2005); founder, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Kansas City).

Ratings and Endorsments: 21Wilberforce (40%); ACT! For America (8%); American Farm Bureau (0%); Americans for Democratic Action (85%); Campaign for Working Families (0%); Concerned Women for America (0%); Heritage Action for America (0%); NARAL Pro-Choice (100%); NAACP (94%); National Education Association (100%); National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (67%); National Rifle Association (13%); National Right to Life Committee (0%); Planned Parenthood Action Fund (100%); Sierra Club (100%); Susan B. Anthony pro-life List (0%).

WEBSITE: http://cleaverforcongress.com or https://www.facebook.com/CleaverForCongress

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice 

 

 

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