Missouri State Senator Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, launched a campaign today for Missouri Secretary of State. Kraus, who is unopposed for a second term in the Senate, plans to form an official campaign committee for statewide office immediately after the general election in November.
“I am encouraged by the support I have received from my family, friends and fellow legislators. I have thought long and hard about this decision, and prayed with my family to make sure this was the right choice, at the right time,” said Kraus. “I believe we need better leadership in the Secretary of State’s office, both for Missouri’s voters and for our small businesses. I believe I can offer that leadership.”
Sen. Kraus, who served three terms as a state representative before running for the Missouri Senate, has been instrumental in several election related bills over the past few years. In 2013 he sponsored significant changes to the military absentee voting laws in Missouri. Kraus, who voted from Iraq while serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, has led the way on making it easier for deployed military to vote.
“Military members who are protecting our country need to be sure their vote counts. I pledge to keep working both locally and with the federal government to make sure it is easy for deployed members to vote, and that every effort is made to get those votes on time,” said Kraus.
Kraus also was instrumental in 2014 in changing the presidential primary date so that Missouri delegates would be counted at their conventions. Having attended a caucus in 2012, Kraus saw firsthand how the caucuses disenfranchised Missouri voters and took steps to end that possibility early.
“Missouri voters want to vote for who will represent their party, not have to spend a whole day sitting in a cramped room only to find their voice isn’t being heard.” Said Kraus. “Getting this change done almost two years ahead of the primary ensures voters that their voice will be heard in 2016.”
Kraus also sponsored voter photo identification laws, worked with county clerks and a House election leader to pass the first significant rewrite of election statutes in thirty years, and was the lead sponsor of a bill to allow voters to decide on a short early voting period to make voting easier without using excessive taxpayer dollars.
“County clerks are the feet on the street, the people who know how things are going on Election Day,” said Kraus. “It is imperative that the Secretary of State listen to them, and I would not make any significant changes without their input.”
Kraus has also been a champion for Missouri businesses, a key role for the Secretary of State. From sponsoring the first tax rate cut to become law in over ninety years, to making sure the Department of Revenue is not abusing small businesses through audits and misinterpretation of statute, Kraus has made sure Missouri will become more business friendly.
“Making sure businesses can organize in Missouri without excessive regulation and a heavy foot on their neck from government agencies should be a primary goal of the Secretary of State,” said Kraus. “The incumbent has supported very little business reform passed by the General Assembly and has been silent on the governor’s vetoes of bills designed on reigning in an out of control Department of Revenue.”
Kraus, who still serves as a Major in the Missouri National Guard, lives in Lee’s Summit with his wife, Carmen and his sons. He is a Board Member of the Hope Network, a faith-based charity based out of First Baptist Raytown, where the Kraus family are members. Kraus remains active in the community, and is a member of the Lee’s Summit Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs Chambers of Commerce. Kraus grew up in Sedalia, MO where he still oversees the operations of his family farm.
What others are saying about Will Kraus:
"Will has been a "go-to" guy in the Senate on election issues. Not only has he been a leader on election legislation, he also has a great understanding of when the time is right to get things done. I look forward to seeing what he can accomplish if elected as Secretary of State." Sen. Tom Dempsey, Senate President Pro Tem
"Sen. Kraus has consistently shown an ability to find consensus and compromise, even on the toughest issues. He is not afraid to take on a difficult task, and I look forward to having him tackle some of the problems facing Missouri voters and businesses as Secretary of State." Sen. Ron Richard, Majority Floor Leader
“Sen. Kraus has been an aggressive leader in the Senate on election issues. As Secretary of State he will focus on what is best for all Missouri voters while making sure local election officials have the tools they need to increase turnout.” Rep. Tony Dugger
“Will has shown his dedication to service, first as a member of the military, then as an elected official. His focus on making it easier for military members to vote shows how he will lead if elected. I know he will serve Missourians well as the next Secretary of State.” Sen. Doug Libla
“Sen. Kraus has consistently fought for the rights of businesses in Missouri, a crucial role the Secretary of State. He clearly understands that smaller government will lead to a stronger economy. He is the best person to help make Missouri more business friendly in 2016.” Sen. Brad Lager
“Will has been a great partner on legislation to reduce taxes for all Missourians, including our small business owners. I look forward to working with him as Secretary of State to reduce the obstacles to starting and running a business.” Rep. Andrew Koenig
“Missouri’s Secretary of State plays a critical role in protecting Missouri voters. As Secretary of State, Will Kraus will vigilantly defend their rights and freedoms.” Former Sen. Bill Stouffer
“Sen. Kraus is a man of integrity and compassion. I have fought with Will to protect our veterans and our active duty military personnel. I have seen no one work harder than him to protect the rights of our men and women in uniform. He has been a great asset for Missouri for many years in the legislature and I look forward to him continuing the fight.” Rep. Charlie Davis
"Sen. Kraus has proven himself to be a leader who brings interested parties together to find solutions for the problems facing our state. I look forward to having him as Secretary of State where he will work to protect Missouri voters and businesses with common sense reforms for elections and business regulations." Sen. Brian Munzlinger
"Sen. Kraus has been a great legislator in Eastern Jackson County. He has consistently worked with fellow legislators and constituents to pass legislation that positively impacts his district and all Missourians. He will take that same teamwork approach to the Secretary of State's office." Rep. Mike Cierpiot