This article is part of the Missourian's 2012 general election voters guide.
WHAT'S THE JOB? The Missouri House of Representatives comprises 163 members, one for each of the state’s House districts.
State representatives must be at least 24 years old, 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 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.
District 60 includes a portion of Cole County, including most of Jefferson City.
Thomas Minihan (D)
Personal: Minihan has never been married and has no children. He is 53 years old, and he is Catholic.
Education: Minihan attended Parkwood High School in Joplin and then graduated from the Franklin Tech Cabinetry program in 1976. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history with a minor in political science from Lincoln University in 2007.
Previous experience: A resident of Jefferson City since 1976, Minihan was a brakeman and conductor for the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific railroads for 25 years and previously served five years on the Railroad Safety Committee. He was the secretary of the United Transportation Union for 10 years and interned with the Missouri Supreme Court clerk in 2005 for one of his classes at Lincoln University.
Top priority: “My top priority is to return representation of the people to the state Capitol,” Minihan said in an interview. “The constituents should be the people who direct me.” In a YouTube video he posted on his blog, Minihan said he also has several ideas about using technology to further democracy. Specifically, he referenced online polls to “show people where the constituents’ feelings are.”
Jason (Jay) Barnes (R)
Personal: Age 32. Married to Jane Barnes. They have two children, Atticus and Maggie.
Campaign Website: http://barnesformissouri.com/bfm/default.htm/
Campaign Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jay-Barnes-for-Missouri/320810951748
Education: Helias High School in Jefferson City, MU for his undergraduate degree, MU School of Law.
Occupation: Attorney at Barnes & Associates, Realtor and owner of Mo ValueRealty.
Previous experience: Barnes was elected state representative for District 114 in 2010, but after the redistricting, he is running for representative of District 60 in 2012. Barnes was a speechwriter and policy counsel for former Gov. Matt Blunt, the former general counsel for Michael Gibbons, Missouri Senate president pro tem, and the former policy director for Kenny Hulshof's 2008 campaign for governor. He worked as the Washington correspondent for the conservative magazine Newsmax.com. Barnes also helped co-found and still writes for the Missouri Record, an online journal of Missouri politics and policy.
He is chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability and is vice-chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for General Administration. In the House, Barnes is a member of the Judiciary, Elementary and Secondary Education, Insurance, and Children and Families committees. He also belongs to the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau, the Jefferson City Association of Realtors, the Jefferson City Young Professionals and the Missouri Bar Association.
Top priority: Barnes has seven top issues posted on his website. These include opposing abortion-rights legislation to “protect the rights of conscience for Missourians morally opposed to abortion” and increasing pay for state employees. He supports redevelopment of the Jefferson City Correctional Center and the development of a nuclear plant or modular nuclear plants in Callaway County. He has sponsored legislation to prevent government waste, fraud and abuse. Barnes took the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which states that signers will oppose any and all tax increases. He also supports keeping taxes low in times of economic turmoil. Barnes also supports employment anti-discrimination.