One of the rising profiles in American politics is Jason Kander of Missouri. The former Missouri State Representative, Secretary of State, and U.S. Senate candidate has earned a spot on the radar of political observers. Kander’s name has been thrown around and even placed among possible future Presidential candidates. On Friday, he stopped in North Dakota to talk about voting accessibility and the U.S. Senate race. I had the opportunity to visit with Kander on my radio show, “Afternoons Live” on KFGO.
After the 2016 election, Kander took up the fight against voter suppression. His advocacy group, Let America Vote, has been pushing back against Republican-led efforts to make voting more difficult across the nation. During our chat, I talked about how the North Dakota Legislature changed its voting requirements in the 2013 session after Heidi Heitkamp narrowly won in 2012. The move came after years of bragging from Secretary of State Al Jaeger and those same Republican lawmakers of how successful our previous voting requirements were. The bottom line is, they didn’t like the results in 2012 so they changed the rules. Those requirements have been in the the courts and some of them have been overturned because they targeted Native American voters. In our interview, Kander made his case rather bluntly, “I don’t want to be so polite that I’m not factual.” You can listen below.
(LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST ABOVE)
Kander has experience in running as a red-state Democrat. He has had past success. I’ve made the case that the Democratic National Committee has unwittingly created barriers for Democratic candidates in states like North Dakota. Though he understood where I was coming from, he said the way to overcome it is on the individual candidate. “The key is about authenticity” and he believed Heitkamp had the advantage in being authentic over Kevin Cramer.
At the end of the day, it just comes down to being a Senator who gets up every day thinking about North Dakota and trying to do the right thing. That’s what Heidi Heitkamp is doing. – Jason Kander
At a time of spin, misdirection, and outright lies coming from national politicians interjecting themselves in North Dakota politics, it was refreshing to hear the candid comments from Kander. His blunt, no-nonsense, factually based arguments are refreshing. Our visit was a continuation of a tone set by videos like the “Background Checks” ad he aired in 2016. He may well be an individual to watch as we navigate through these unique times in our politics.