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Missouri lawmaker has a challenger — her husband

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | 6:42 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — An eastern Missouri lawmaker is facing an election challenge from her husband, whom she accuses of physical violence. He denies the abuse allegations and says he is running to help the state's workers.

Rep. Linda Fischer, D-Bonne Terre, is seeking a second term in the Missouri House, and her husband, John Fischer, filed as a Republican for the same seat. They are the only candidates for House District 107, which covers St. Francois County, about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

St. Francois County court records show that Linda Fischer was granted a protection order against John Fischer on Friday. In court documents she accuses John Fischer of harassing her, causing or attempting to cause her physical harm.

Linda Fischer, 39, said in court documents that John Fischer demanded that she turn over her cell phone to him and had been confrontational. She said his behavior had been irrational and erratic and that he "previously and presently (is) using physical assaults as his mode of communication."

John Fischer, 51, acknowledged a verbal argument but denied any physical confrontation. He said he has asked to be administered a polygraph test to determine if he is lying.

"I have never abused my wife, ever," Fischer said Wednesday.

John Fischer worked for nearly three decades in Chrysler vehicle manufacturing plants. He accepted early retirement in May 2009.

He said he was not running for the House because of the protection order but that he decided he needed to do what he believed was right. He said he believes Democrats are wrong in how they have handled the economy, health care and the federal stimulus package.

"I figured if I'm going to be on my own, then I'm going to have to do what suits me," he said. "I'm standing up for people who lost their job. I don't think they're being represented fairly in this state because they do not take care of the working man."

Linda Fischer said in a written statement Tuesday that she sought the protection order against her husband "for physical violence."

"It is unfortunate that as an elected official your private life is potentially a theater for public disclosure," she said. "I trust the voters of St. Francois County will see through the political gimmicks and make the right choice."

Linda Fischer was first elected to the General Assembly in 2008 and has served as deputy whip for House Democrats. According to her official biography, she has been a teacher and raised livestock and crops on her farm.


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