The clock is ticking.
With just under a month before voters go to the polls to decide the fate of primary campaigns up and down the ballot, time is running out to march in parades, shake hands and kiss babies.
Ann Wagner, the Ballwin Republican who has been campaigning for the GOP nomination in Missouri's 2nd Congressional district for more than a year, has recently put her second campaign advertisement on television.
And that battle has now been joined.
Dr. Randy Jotte, the former Webster Groves Councilman and current ER physician who entered the race in January, launched his own advertising on cable this month, trying to introduce himself as the primary campaign heads into its closing stretch.
Patch sat down with Dr. Jotte at The Daily Bread Cafe in Des Peres Friday to talk about the economy, health care, and running an uphill race.
Friday's interview coincided with the release of the most recent employment figures, which showed 80,000 new jobs, but a steady unemployment rate at 8.2 percent.
Jotte said Americans should look at what we do best, and try to sell it to the world, even if it means products aren't always made domestically. "It’s ok if we build things overseas, it’s a matter of being able to sell them overseas and bring profit back to the U.S."
If Jotte had a magic wand, he said his reform of the health care system would generally revolve around making it "patient-centered", would put emphasis on using health insurance to cover serious issues, like broken bones, or a cancer diagnosis. He added that free market reforms would give patients more certainty on medical costs.
Ann Wagner's position as the leader in the race has seemed like something of a certainty to political observers for months. Her fundraising prowess has matched and surpassed those in the U.S. Senate race at times, leaving some to suggest she was in the wrong contest.
Eventually, Ed Martin switched to the Attorney General's race, just a few days after Dr. Jotte entered. Wagner has the backing of GOP stars like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, along with being watched closely by the National Republican Campaign Committee.
But Dr. Jotte sees an opportunity.
"A lot of people are deeply dissatisfied with what the establishment has brought us," he said. "We all saw the debt crisis last summer, which we’ve really accomplished nothing on that and I think people are ready for a changing of the guard. There are assets of being part of the establishment, there’s certainly great liabilities."
Jotte sees himself as part of an effort to restore statesmanship to the process of government in Washington, D.C. But he knows he has to get there first.
"My goal is to let people know they have alternatives in this race."
But the clock is ticking.