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.
District 59 includes portions of Cole and Miller counties.
Vonnieta E. Trickey (D)
Personal: 59, divorced, two grown children, two grandsons.
Although Trickey’s name is on the ballot, she said in an interview that she would not be able to fill the position if she is elected because of medical issues. Should she win, the governor will make a special appointment to fill the vacancy, according to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.
Law Firm Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Trickey-Vonnieta-E-Atty-At-Law/122555684469249
Education: Lincoln University, B.A. in speech and English, minor in theater; law degree from University of Missouri.
Occupation: Attorney in Jefferson City, owned small business for 25 years.
Previous experience: Trickey has never been involved in local politics before deciding to run for representative for District 59. She cites her only community experience as a “few local meetings a while ago,” but she said she decided to join the race for the Missouri legislature because she feels Cole County can do better and deserves better.
Top priority: Trickey said in an interview that her top priority would be to “find some financial relief for state workers” to give them a raise to help cover the rising cost of health care. Additionally, she said education must be improved, saying “our less-than-perfect schools” are producing children who “cannot read and write adequately.”
Mike Bernskoetter (R)
Personal: Bernskoetter is 52 years old and is married to Jeannette Bernskoetter. They have four children – Brian, Krista, Kyle and Luke. The Bernskoetters also have twin grandchildren.
Campaign website: http://mikebernskoetter.com
Education: Helias High School in Jefferson City (class of 1978).
Occupation: He owns and operates Art’s Pest Control with his wife, and he currently represents House District 113.
Previous experience: Bernskoetter has been the president of the Missouri Pest Management Association. He serves as a lector, Eucharistic minister and hospitality minister at Immaculate Conception Parish. He also is a member of numerous organizations, including the Knights of Columbus.
He is finishing his first term as legislator in the Missouri House of Representatives. He serves as chair of the Joint Interim Committee on State Employee Wage and as member of the Small Business, Urban Issues, Utilities and Agri-Business committees.
Bernskoetter has served District 113 since he was elected in November 2010. He is seeking to represent District 59 because of redistricting.
Top priority: “The economy continues to be tough right now, and many are looking to government to solve our problems,” Bernskoetter stated on his website. “However, I think the most important thing government can do is minimize itself in the equation by keeping taxes and limiting burdensome rules that inhibit small business. Innovators of small business built America and we need entrepreneurs more than ever to get our economy going again.”