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Missouri House District 140: Democrat Julia Curran

Democrat Julia Curran is running for the Missouri House in District 140, which covers Ozark and northern Christian County. She joined Sense of Community at KSMU Studios on June 12, 2024.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Democrat Julia Curran is running for the Missouri House in District 140, which covers Ozark and northern Christian County. She joined Sense of Community at KSMU Studios on June 12, 2024.

Julia Curran is the only Democrat in the District 140 Missouri House primary set for August 6. The Republicans vying for the seat are incumbent Jamie Gragg and Danny Garrison.

Missouri House District 140 covers Ozark and portions of northern Christian County, Missouri. The following is a transcript from Ozark Public Radio's interview with Curran recorded on June 12. You can find our interview with Republican candidate Danny Garrison here. KSMU was unsuccessful in scheduling an interview with incumbent Republican Rep. Jamie Gragg.

KSMU: Welcome, Ms. Curran.

CURRAN: Thank you for having me here today, Greg, I appreciate the opportunity to speak with people.

KSMU: Let's get right to our questions. And a reminder, for each answer, we have 1 minute and 45 seconds for all the candidates. First question: Tell us about yourself and why you feel you're a good candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives.

CURRAN: So I've been a Christian County resident for over 20 years, we raised our family in Christian County, and I've just come to love the community. It's a great community. There's many wonderful people there. It's a very positive place to live. And I feel like I want to serve the people in that community in the capacity of representative at Jeff City. I think that there's some needs that need to be addressed. And I think that we can do it in a positive way.

KSMU: Second question: Which issues are most important to you and why?

CURRAN: I think the issues that revolve around our common values are really important to us. We have a lot more in common than we have that are different. We all value our families, our community, our schools, the ability to have good-paying jobs, and to also just work collectively for the success of the community. So those are the important things to me: keeping up common values, keeping a vision that we're all in this together, and that we can work together respectfully.

KSMU: Why did you decide to run for office?

CURRAN: I've been a nurse for 35-plus years, and I've always been a strong advocate for people. I always believe that threre's strength in helping other people, and for us to be able to meet common goals together. Being an advocate, you need to respect other people's differences, and how they want to achieve their goals. I want to, I believe that I can bring strong advocacy to people, and I want to be a voice for everyone. There's quite a few people in the community, our young people, and some of our parents and families who really feel out of sync, and don't feel that their voices are being heard. And I want to be an advocate for everybody.

KSMU: What do you think makes your district unique? And how will you represent that in Jefferson City?

CURRAN: My district is unique. I think that there's a lot of really wonderful people in our district. I think that there is different groups of people, there are people who work outwardly in the community for the — in different groups and different action groups, the chamber of commerce, different churches. But then there's also families who are very involved in the schools and involved in sports. And I see a really strong community. I see people who want to work together, be engaged as much as they possibly can be, and get reward from that community. It's a small type of community, but it's a community where I feel a lot of people are welcome. And I really like that small-town feel.

KSMU: Running for office as a state lawmaker opens you up to a lot of scrutiny and criticism. Do you feel that the personal costs for you and your family are worth it? And why?

CURRAN: I think that advocacy is always worth it. I think that standing up for other people, and serving your community is always worth that. There are people who might be negative, but I need to put those things aside, there's a lot of really good and positive things for running for office. I've met so many great people in the community. And I've been able to connect with a lot of people that I didn't think that I'd be able to connect with. So I think that, yeah, there'll be some negativity, but I think keeping in mind that there's respect for each other, and what the real goal is — and that's service. And I think that's worth it.

KSMU: How productive do you think Missouri legislative sessions have been in recent years, and what would improve the legislature's productivity and effectiveness?

CURRAN: I think that people sometimes lose faith, lose sight of what they're there to work for. And sometimes they, people get caught up in, in arguments that don't serve their constituency. We need to — I think that they could be a lot more productive. And that's one of the reasons why I'm running. I think that people need to remember that we're all human beings, and that we can respect each other's differences. And we need to find common ground. And I think that there's been a lack of that. But I also think there's a lot of good people in the legislature who's very frustrated, and want to see more production. So I think that if we join together, and we always show an openness to work with other people, that we could get a lot more done. And I have hope for that.

KSMU: What's something you'd like to share with voters that most people don't know about you?

CURRAN: Well, that's, that's an interesting question. I think that I'd like people to know that I'm an open person. I'm open-minded. I think that there's ways that we can make changes. We need to involve more people, we need to involve more young people. And I'm quite pragmatic. So I think that when we're looking for solutions, they're not necessarily the solutions that I have in mind, but that we can look for other people's solutions and try them out. We have really nothing to lose. And so I think that that makes me a little bit different.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.