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Columbia Missourian

VOTERS GUIDE 2012: Candidates for 46th District State Representative race

By Jordan Shapiro, Matthew Patane
September 17, 2012 | 9:00 a.m. CDT

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 Candidates 

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.

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.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.