Local representatives file early for re-election

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Filing for state office began Feb. 24.

Representatives from South-west Missouri got up early to make sure their names would be first on the Nov. 13 ballot.

Due to term limits, a representative can serve a maximum of six years, and one senator said that is not much time.

“I think our current legislators are very effective,” said Sen. Gary Nodler (R-Joplin). “But they all still have work they want done. And they have only got six years to get everything accomplished because of term limits.”

Rep. Marilyn Ruestman (R-Joplin) filed at 9:45 a.m. for House representative for District 131.

“I plan to continue working on Highway 71,” Ruestman said.

She also plans to continue working for schools, building clean water and the poultry commission.

Bill Buening, Diamond, is Ruestman’s opponent in the race for representative.

“I don’t know this person, but I believe we have similar concerns,” Ruestman said. “I would rather work with him than against him.”

Rep. Bryan Stevenson (R-Webb City) said he wanted to make sure Southwest Missouri will be properly represented in the formula restructuring in the next 2 years.

“After the successful name change for Missouri Southern, I would like to see the completion of Z-49 and Highway 71,” Stevenson said.

He plans to ensure that higher education, as well as primary and secondary education issues, are presented to the government body.

“The current representative delegation is a finely-tuned team that works well together,” Stevenson said. “I would like to see the same team return.”

For the first time, Rep. Steve Hunter (R-Joplin) will face Republican opposition. Jason Fenske, Carl Junction, filed at 11:03 a.m. for House representative for District 127.

“I want to continue on trying to pass legislation that will work to better allow businesses to operate,” Hunter said. “I would like to work to increase state economic growth and to just make lives better.”

Rep. Ron Richard (R-Joplin) wants to continue the fight he began 30 years ago.

“I want to work for jobs, the economy, highways, the best trained work force, to get education resolved,” Richard said.

He said the creation of jobs was an important cause as well as business expanding and allow teachers to teach and police to police.

“I began this battle in 1988 and nothing has changed,” Richard said.

“There are a lot of things that I have started,” said Rep. Kevin Wilson (R-Neosho).

“Business, education, social issues and joint resolutions are all things I want to continue.”

Wilson also said he wanted to continue being a voice for Southwest Missouri.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to serve,” Wilson said.

Individuals wishing to file have until March 30.