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Candidate Abby Zavos calls for return of civility in politics

February 2, 2018 – Abby Zavos, candidate for Missouri’s 38th House District, hopes to bring civility back to politics.

“Civil is the key word,” Zavos said.

Originally from Linden, a small town in Kansas, Zavos has been a resident of Clay County for over 20 years, including some time spent in Excelsior Springs. A graduate of Emporia State University with a degree in Communication Theatre, Zavos now lives in Liberty, where she owns a jewelry-making business and spends a lot of time volunteering. She worked extensively on the campaigns for Jason Kander (D), who ran for the United States Senate and ultimately lost to Roy Blunt (R), and Chris Koster (D) , who ran for Governor of Missouri and lost to current Republican governor Eric Greitens. Between the two campaigns, Zavos knocked on over 5,000 doors in Clay County.

Abby Zavos

Abby Zavos is the Democratic candidate for House District 38. She is currently running uncontested for the Democratic nomination,

“The Democratic party has been looking for energetic people who want to be involved,” said Nick Smith, campaign manager for Zavos. “So when they saw Abby’s enthusiasm, they wanted her involved.”

“I found out that [Republican] TJ berry had run for the last two terms unopposed, and there was just this realization that I wanted to do this,” Zavos added. “I find the number of women running to be very inspiring. I think it’s incredible, and we need more women in office.”

Zavos hopes to cut across party lines and look for solutions that both parties can agree upon.

“I am so exhausted with the partisanship, and I feel like Clay County has such a potential, there are so many issues we can unite on,” Zavos stated. “Infrastructure and education, and a very regressive tax system right now. These are not partisan issues. These are issues we can easily talk about, without devolving into Trump’s tweets and Hillary’s emails.”

One of the bigger challenges Zavos faces in this district is the ideological polarization that has become a part of the political climate.

“I think finding people who are willing to look past partisanship and have real conversations with someone who doesn’t have a personal agenda can be a challenge,” Zavos explained. “But there are real issues that are effecting people every day and I think it’s important that we, as a community, can say these are issues that are important to all of us, they cross political lines, but again, these conversations are hard because we are so polarized.”

Of particular concern to Zavos is Missouri’s budget and funding, which she views as regressive.

“We  have our poorest people paying about roughly 9.5 percent of their income in taxes, while the  wealthiest are paying about 5 percent. We have corporations that get enormous tax breaks. The governor is trying to cut Medicaid again, rural hospitals are closing. We’ve got to find solutions in the budget to fund mental health care, regular health care, rural hospitals. We have to have options, ones that don’t come from cutting programs in rural communities,” Zavos said.

“For example, corporations get a two percent refund if they just pay their taxes on time. You and I don’t get that. That’s money we are just giving away, that could be funneled back into local communities. We shouldn’t be cutting services so that these big corporations can get a tax break for paying what they are supposed to pay, when they are supposed to pay it.”

Berry will not run for re-election, since he has been termed out. Instead, Zavos faces conservative Doug Richey, an Excelsior Springs resident.

Smith believes Zavos has more than a fighting chance.

“She has a foot in the community, because she’s just like everyone she’s talking to. The difference is, she has decided to take these issues on and do something about it,” said Smith.

Zavos is currently running uncontested for the Democratic nomination. Candidates have until March 27 to declare. All 163 seats in the House are up for election in 2018.

By Samantha Kilgore • samantha@leaderpress.com

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