Rep. Chad Perkins

Perkins enjoys being able to help constituents

By Stan Schwartz

 

One year in as the representative for the 40th District, Rep. Chad Perkins said he is loving working for the people.

“It’s better than I ever imagined,” he said.

Perkins ran unopposed as the Republican candidate after winning the primary. The former district representative, Jim Hanson, had decided not to seek re-election, after serving in that capacity since 2013.

After winning the seat, Perkins informed Hanson’s staff that he would be keeping them on.

“It was the best move I ever made,” Perkins said. He appreciated their institutional knowledge to help guide him during his first term as a state representative.

“It allowed me to hit the ground running,” he added. “And it made the transition seamless.”

Representing the people in the 40th District was something Perkins always wanted to do. He did a brief stint at mayor of Bowling Green and spent time as a Bowling Green police officer and a Pike County deputy sheriff, running the DARE program for the Sheriff’s office.

“What I like best,” he said being at the Capital, “is the problem-solving aspect of the job.” He noted that the job is two-fold.

“You have the legislative side, and then you have the constituent services side,” he explained. The legislative side is for passing bills. The constituent services side is when someone calls with a specific problem.

Although he cannot help with everyone’s problem, Perkins noted that when he can help, he could see the results the same day.

“Just because you have a direct line to the public system,” he added, “you may not get the answer you were looking for, but you can get it fairly quickly.”

It was on the legislative side, he admitted that he took the most flack for his vote for the Educational Savings Account bill.

“It was a tough vote for me,” he said. Perkins is a product of the public education system. “But the fact of it is, parents are the best experts on what’s good for their children.”

The public school system has a strong foundation, he noted, but there are certain liberal ideas he would not like to see taught in public schools.

Those ideas, he added, “are certainly not in the mainstream of this area.”

One thing that did catch him a little off guard was the difficulty of getting a bill passed. 

“There is one way to get a bill passed,” he said, “and 1,000 ways of getting it to die.”

There is a wide spectrum of things that get thrown at legislators, Perkins said.

“Everything from economic development to health care and transportation,” he said.

The biggest thing he learned about getting things done at that level is how one builds relationships with the other legislators.

“It (the Capitol) runs on relationships,” he said.

With three years to go in his first term, Perkins said he would be introducing some pro-life and some Second Amendment legislation.

“And I have some legislation that would reduce the size of government,” he added. “Ronald Regan said, ‘Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.’”

Perkins is ever thinking toward the future. This will be a redistricting year for Missouri. After looking at the proposed redistricting map, he noted that Pike County would be sitting at the geographic middle of one of those redrawn Senate districts. (See redistricting story on Page 1.)

If this redistricting does take place, Perkins said, he would consider running for that Senate seat.

“But it would also depend on who else signs up (to run),” he added. “I think timing is the most important thing.”

The redistricting maps are just proposals, he explained, so things could change.

Recommended for you