Meet Jim Bates, running for Missouri House, District 38
District 38 includes the city of Liberty and parts of Kansas City.
Jim believes that Missouri should not label itself as red or blue, but rather as a unified community of people who want to work together to make their home a better place.
Jim is a lifelong Missourian, a Kansas City Chiefs fan, and a first-generation college graduate who served in the U.S. Army Reserves and OK National Guard. He is a voice for his community members. But above all, Jim is a devoted father. His two daughters attend Missouri State and are both enrolled in BFA programs in acting and theater design. His youngest son showcases his musical talents in the Liberty High School band. As a huge supporter of his children’s aspirations, Jim finds immense pride in seeing them confidently pursue their dreams.
In every word he speaks, Jim reveres Missouri with an unshakeable passion. His love for his home state stems from his diverse upbringing, spending time in both the Missouri Ozarks and the fertile farmland of Central Missouri. He has a deep connection to the state’s rich history and is proud of Missouri’s cultural icons like Mark Twain, Harry Truman, and George Washington Carver.
Jim’s decision to enter the political arena is fueled by his concerns about the current state of Missouri. As a lifelong Missourian, he’s disheartened by the decline in the state’s forward progress due to decisions made by the existing Republican supermajority. Jim worries that his children are growing up in Missouri with leaders who support defunding education, minimizing gun laws, and lacking respect for the LGBTQ+ community. Jim is firmly committed to returning to a Missouri that his children and fellow Missourians can be proud of once again.
The core issues driving Jim’ political ambition are public education, healthcare, addressing the epidemic of gun violence, and promoting job opportunities with adequate wages and benefits. As a gun owner and someone who grew up hunting, he adamantly opposes lenient gun laws, advocating for the repeal of permit-less conceal-and-carry and the banning of high-capacity magazines to combat the rising gun violence plaguing the state and the country as a whole. Another startling fact we learned from Jim is that in terms of public education, Missouri is 49th in education funding and 50th in teacher pay. Since Jim’s wife is an elementary school counselor, they are all too familiar with the immense struggles of students in the public school system today. Students are falling behind, teachers are underpaid, and schools are not receiving enough funding to be open five days a week. Funding education is the first step towards tackling these issues.
Jim also explained that Missouri is a “healthcare desert”, with many rural hospitals closing and leaving residents in dangerous situations. Another similar issue is the harmful legislation that bans abortions and gender-affirming healthcare in the state. Jim’s vision for Missouri is rooted in securing a future where public education is adequately funded, healthcare is accessible and affordable, and job opportunities provide fair compensation and solid benefits. He envisions a state where residents attain their dreams and live long, safe and happy lives.
Aside from his political aspirations, Jim’s varied career, including experience in sales and customer service, echoes his multifaceted approach to life. He loves music, movies, and sports. More specifically, he is an NFL enthusiast and a fan of many different Kansas City sports teams. Jim’s family pets reflect a diverse and pop-culture-inspired naming tradition: Sybil the cat, named from Downton Abbey, Clem the cat (Clementine) from The Walking Dead game, and a dog named Padme, after the Star Wars matriarch. His new addition, Huckleberry Finn the kitten, continues the trend, tying in literature to their furry companions.
Jim wants the world to know that Missouri’s Democratic population is larger than most people realize and urges everyone not to overlook the significance of rural America and its values. His unwavering commitment to his family and his beloved state of Missouri is evident in every action of his, embodying a candidate with a vision for a brighter and more inclusive future.