Detailed Positions

JD Leathers, a serious candidate for a serious office.

"I came from a decent, good family, but we struggled my whole life, like nearly everyone does. It’s a common struggle and that needs to change. It should not be a struggle just to get to the age of twenty, to get to the age of forty, to get to retirement. It shouldn’t be a struggle. We’re all struggling"

Safer Communities

My Position:

Reform and regulations on military-grade weapons, ammunitions, and after-market accessories should be seriously considered in Good Faith by all members of Congress.

Reform is necessary, nearly all Americans agree. Conservative politicians must stop trying to play political games with the lives of American Citizens.

I do not believe that concealed carry is a safe option. I believe that it makes us all less safe. Carrying your weapon exposed, although not ideal, is a better option if the law allows.

Hiding your weapon seems suspicious to me, and it is considered suspicious too many law enforcement agencies...that is why if you have a concealed weapon (regardless of the legality) during a traffic stop, most police will handcuff you until they are certain you are not a threat.

A real and complete review of how policing is done in America is absolutely necessary. Police budgets and grants from the Federal government should reflect the needs of the community that those agencies serve, they should not provide for the use of military vehicles, they should not promote the idea of shooting first and asking questions later.

Law enforcement should be getting the resources that they really need! Quality equipment that makes their jobs safer. Better compensation packages for them and their families. Professional counseling and therapy options for officers and staff, but also those professionals to be onsite or in consultation during interventions and interactions with potential subjects and suspects.

My Record:

I come from a proud gun-owning family and I have hunted off and on throughout my life. I even own a gun, but it is a black-powder, single-load musket-loader. It would not be able to cause a mass casualty event.

I am a person who attended the gun/hunter safety courses required to pass in Missouri to buy hunting permits. However, many people (40+) where grandfathered in, and many more illegally purchase permits for others to avoid going through safety courses.

Many members of my family are permit carriers for concealed carry, I am not. As previously mentioned, I don't have much use for weapons. Although, many members of my family have multiple guns and weapons. I recommend many times the safe handling and storage of those weapons, but I don't try to take away theirs or anyone else's property.

I support and would vote in favor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It is a good measure and the only real attempt to modernize policing in America.

My Thoughts

Violent crimes with weapons, specifically guns, are extremely high. I agree that good, responsible gun owners are not the specific people committing these crimes. However, if you are a responsible gun owner, you no that you don't need military-grade weapons to hunt or protect your property; you know you don't need 500-rounds to do that either.

It is irresponsible to argue in favor of keeping dangerous loop-holes in regulations that allow criminals and violent offenders to obtain weapons easier than it is to obtain a driver's license, and I reckon everyone knows this to be true.

Police departments and officers that are fighting oversight of their agencies, which are responsible to public review, are not acting in Good Faith. According to law enforcement investigators, refusing to cooperate is a signal of guilt or wrong-doing.

Police who want to serve their communities would be open to discussing and making changes that would bring their departments in-line with their community's values.

There is also absolutely no need for the militarization of a civilian-domestic police force. It is disturbing to see rural departments that don't have a history of violent crime or terrorism, build up an arsenal similar to what would be needed to stave off an invasion of a foreign army or major active terrorist attack.

Rights & Freedom of Choice

My Position:

Multiple court rulings including Roe v. Wade affirm the Rights of women to their own self-determination in matters of contraception, obstetrics care & decisions, and abortion.

As Americans, we have the Right to have legislation Free from religious influence.

My Record:

I have actively promoted the rights of all women to exercise this form of self-determination.

I have consistently recognized and reiterated that the First Amendment of the Constitution speaks to the lack of authority Congress has to make laws that are based on specific religious assertions.

My Thoughts

I find it ridiculous the amount of hypocrisy around this issue. Conservatives consistently fight against regulations on themselves and their lifestyles and choices, while actively and proudly pushing for regulations on those Americans, lifestyles and choices that they personally or religiously don't agree with it.

Religion & the Separation of Church & State

My Position:

In the First Amendment our Constitution promotes the practice of a Secular government by restricting nonsecular legislation.

It is not the responsibility of our government to instruct us on how to or not practice our faith/belief/religion.

It is the responsibility of our government to protect the freedom to choose whether or not you wish to practice a faith, belief, or religion.

Public-raised funds (i.e. taxes) should not readily be used to support organizations that promote one religion or faith over others or those who require profession of a faith or religion to use their services.

My Actions:

I look at laws from a practical and logical point of view, weighing the pros and cons. Making a decision based on what would be the most effective and best for my constituency.

I am a supporter of the Congressional Freethought Caucus and will request to join this caucus once I have been sworn in.

My Thoughts

No matter my faith or religion, and no matter your faith or religion, our laws should not be based on our belief and faith systems. There is value in all of our beliefs.

I believe that people can have morals and ethics without being religious and I also believe this to be true for people of all faiths. We learn and develop morals through many experience in our lives, and we choose to follow those morals in an ethical way.

Labor & the Right to Work

My Position:

I stand against the “Missouri Right to Work Initiative” (2022) that would add wording to Article 1, Section 29 of the Missouri Constitution that specifically targets labor unions.

It narrowly targets one aspect of employment practice that would shift Missouri from an “At-Will Employment” standard to a “Right to Work” standard.

Language in the ballot measure is intentionally misleading, attempting to persuade voters by using words such as, “Freedom.”

The current statute reads, “That employees have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.”

This allows for the Freedom desired in an At-Will Employment state. It is not over restrictive of employers, employees, or unions.

My Record:

This initiative mimics Senate Bill 118 (2021), the Missouri Right to Work Initiative (2020), and other Bills and Initiatives previous.

When on the ballot, I have consistently voted against these measures.

My Thoughts

I stand by at-will employment standards. I believe labor organizations and unions provide a desired service to their members and industry, as well as the community and nation. Employees’ rights to organize and represent their interests must be protected.

Agriculture & Foreign Ownership

My Position:

I am against foreign governments, their agents and entities from owning any percentage or amount of agricultural property, land, or businesses in the United States.

Non-U.S. Citizens and Non-U.S. Residents (foreign citizens) should not have a controlling interest or ownership of agricultural property, land, or businesses in the United States.

Policy Recommendation

Their should be an immediate cap placed on foreign ownership of Agri-business and property at the current holdings.

  • Loopholes in federal law which allows foreign investment of certain entities and businesses, to avoid reporting, must be eliminated.

  • The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act must be enforced.

  • Reporting must be mandatory, with fines being issued when compliance isn’t met.

  • The USDA must investigate when reports omit country of origin/ownership details.

  • This means that the USDA needs to be properly funded to meet these tasks.

Individual States should be allowed to determine at what levels to further restrict foreign ownership of U.S. agribusinesses and property.

  • In Missouri specifically, the Governor should insist that the Missouri Department of Agriculture return to enforcing the approval requirements for investing and ownership in agri-business that was part of the law passed in 2013.

  • Missouri law should require more restrictions on the purchasing and investing of agri-businesses and property, and the laws must be enforced.

  • A ban on purchases/ownership and controlling investment into agri-businesses and property should be considered by the citizens through ballot initiative.

My Thoughts

Trade wars and policies that have been more friendly to multi-national corporations than our own community farmers have lead to low-profits for our U.S. based agricultural industry. This too often leads to bankruptcy which offers an easy way for foreign entities to purchase ownership stakes in U.S. agri-businesses.

Without state and federal protection, this becomes a very easy task for foreign entities.

I believe that in a globalized society and a strong free-market economy, businesses must compete, but they need a relatively level playing field. Foreign investment in businesses can be good for all interested parties when it is regulated, but can be damaging when that investment turns into controlling stakes of the businesses.