# Jess Piper

Uncontested races are undemocratic

Jess Piper speaks at a Progress Iowa event at the Tom and Ruth Harkin Center in Des Moines on March 22 (photo by Laura Belin)

Jess Piper is the Executive DIrector of Blue Missouri. She is a former high school teacher and former nominee for Missouri’s House district 1. She lives on a small farm in northwest Missouri with her family and is the author of The View from Rural Missouri newsletter, where this essay first appeared.

Uncontested races are undemocratic. They are also immoral. If we say we stand with all communities, we have to prove it by showing up on every ballot.

I live in Missouri. I understand supermajorities and the consolidation of power under a supermajority, but I also understand how we get ourselves out of this mess. It isn’t the conventional wisdom of flipping a couple of seats. It’s running everywhere no matter the fact that most of these uncontested seats won’t flip in one cycle.

I hate the phrase “the long game,” but this is literally the long game. It takes time and patience and money and fortitude. It also takes candidates with grit. If anyone has grit, it’s a Missouri Democrat—especially a rural Missouri Democrat. 

I should know. I ran in 2022.

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