Editor's note: This story originally published in advance of the August primary. It has been updated to include information about the candidates who will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. This article is part of the Missourian's 2012 general election voters guide.
WHAT'S THE JOB? The Missouri House of Representatives comprises of 163 members, one for each of the state’s House districts.
State representatives must be at least 24, be a qualified voter of the state for two years and be a qualified voter of the district they wish to represent for one year.
Representatives currently earn $35,915 annually and can serve four two-year terms in the House.
After the November general election, Boone County will be represented by five House districts whose boundaries were drawn during reapportionment after the 2010 census:
- The 46th District includes part of central Boone County, including parts of southern Columbia.
Stephen Webber (D)
Webber is seeking his third term in the House since first being elected in 2008.
While in the House, Webber has been the top Democrat on the Job Creation and Economic Development Committee, which he said has been a big priority.
"I am going to do what I can to help this community thrive," he said.
He also has served on the House Rules, Labor and Homeland Security committees.
Webber, whose U.S. Marine Corps service included two tours of duty in Iraq, said education is his top priority.
If re-elected, he also wants to use his position to help create incentives for the Ameren-Westinghouse small modular nuclear reactor project, including tax credits and rebates.
Another goal, he said, is to push for what he calls "equal rights" legislation, including banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"In Missouri you can be fired for being gay," he said.
- Personal: Age 29. Single.
- Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from St. Louis University, 2006; attending law school at MU.
- Occupation: State representative; student.
- Background: Earned Eagle Scout rank with Boy Scout Troop 707 of Columbia; represented Missouri at American Legion Boys Nation while attending Hickman High School; veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the war in Iraq; former aide to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill; member of Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America and the American Legion; volunteer for Missouri Boys State.
- Campaign website: votewebber.com
Fred Berry (R)
Berry has a lot of ideas but says he's willing to admit there are people smarter than him. He often quotes colleagues, officials and experts when talking about public policy and issues he supports. Berry's primary goal is to fix the economy. With that in mind, he said, he opposes tax increases.
"The problem is you don't improve the business environment by raising taxes."
Berry supports replacing the state income tax with a higher sales tax and limiting business regulations. He said he is running for office to improve the state and local business climate. He wants to limit the involvement of the federal government, move toward a solely consumption-based tax system and make Missouri a "right-to-work" state.
- Personal: Age 65. Married to Sherry Berry. They have three children.
- Occupation: Retired U.S. Army colonel.
- Education: Bachelor's degree in English literature from Arizona State University, 1969; master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California, 1981; master's degree in public administration from Pennsylvania State University, 1989.
- Background: Former director of Military Education Policy at the Pentagon; various managerial positions with Wells Fargo Alarm Services; state grass roots coordinator for Missouri Fair Tax; member of the Show-Me Institute; member of Boone County and Columbia Pachyderm Clubs; Fourth Ward committeeman for Boone County Republican Central Committee.
Campaign website: electfredberry.com
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.