Group marches across Emerson Bridge

Saturday, June 26, 2010
Rally participants walk across the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Saturday, June 26, 2010, during an event organized by Bob Parker, candidate for Congress in Missouri's 8th District. (Kristin Eberts)

Carrying American flags, handmade signs and Bob Parker for Congress posters, about 25 people marched across the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau on Saturday as part of the "Take America Back" rally organized by Parker.

Handmade signs read "Stop the Madness in Washington" "Fight Tyranny, Enjoy Liberty" and "Justice for the Unborn."

"Everywhere we put our foot we are taking this ground for freedom," said Parker of Texas County, who will face seven-term incumbent Jo Ann Emerson in the Aug. 3 primary for the Republican party's nomination for the 8th Congressional District seat.

In addition to Parker and Emerson, other candidates for the 8th Congressional District seat include Tommy Sowers of Rolla, Mo., the only Democrat in the race, Libertarian Party candidate Rick Vandeven of Chaffee, Mo., and Independent candidate Larry Bill of Jackson. Larry Bill also took part in the rally along with members of the Sikeston, Mo., Tea Party.

"Only four out of 100 people vote in primary elections and we want to bring that number up," said Ken Collins, Parker's son-in-law who has been working on his campaign.

Sara Bohnert of Altenburg, Mo., said she attended the rally to represent her church and her family. She wore a farm hat as a symbol of local farmers, including her husband.

"I think it's time we take America back from our government," she said.

Alan Pendergrass of Chaffee said he's never been involved in a political campaign before, but this year he's pledged to knock on doors every day until the primary, campaigning for Parker.

"I am very passionate in my thinking that we have to stop sending career politicians to Washington, D.C.," said Pendergrass, who attended the rally with his daughter and son-in-law.

The group gathered in the parking lot of the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus before marching to the bridge. They walked along the shoulder of the roadway to the Missouri state line at the middle of the bridge and then back. Parker urged people to pray as they walked and remember those who have served in the military.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent Address:

518 S. Fountain St, Cape Girardeau, MO

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