Adrian Plank knows many issues that need to be addressed in Colombia, whether it’s talking to residents in his previous campaigns or being working class himself.
Adrian Plank said he plans to make the working class a priority if he wins Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the 47th representative from the Missouri House district.
He faces Chimene Schwach in the primary election, and the winner of that race meets Republican candidate John Martin in November, if no one else files by August 1.
A unionized carpenter himself, Plank said he was aware of the problems faced by members of the working class.
“Here’s this working-class guy who just wants it to be better and fair for all of us,” said Alyce Turner, a member of the Democratic Central Committee who has known Plank since 2018.
Plank was born and raised in Missouri by his mother and father along with his three brothers. Growing up, he said, his family struggled financially, although his father worked part-time three times, until he got a union job at the Thomas Hill power station in the north -western Missouri.
The first issue Plank said he would like to address would be downplaying the influence of super PACs because “this system doesn’t work for the working class.”
Another issue is improving union wages, health care and pension plans. Other issues include improved teacher salaries, gun laws, green energy funding and universal broadband access.
Plank decided to get involved in politics after knocking on Bernie Sanders’ doors in 2016. He said he saw a need for change in the political system because he believed it was not serving the working class.
He ran against Chuck Basye twice, in 2018 and 2020. In the 2020 election, Plank got 43% of the vote and believes he can win this time around if he gets past the primary election.
Basye spent eight years in the state House of Representatives representing District 47, but term limits prevented him from running for office this year.
Plank said he wanted to help those with the same issues he was facing, as well as issues the government was not trying to address.
He is a union carpenter but quit working to devote more time to his campaign. He said he has spent the majority of his days for the past four months canvassing throughout the community.
Turner said Plank helped a number of young adults get union jobs so they could earn a living wage. Those he has helped see him as an advocate for the community.
“He was there for me in my darkest hours,” said Colleen O’Connor, who met Plank after helping him in his first campaign against Basye. They have since become friends.
“He just helps people like that all over Colombia,” she said. “He just doesn’t say no to anyone.”