Candidate information for county primary election

Sunday, July 28, 2002

CONTESTED RACES

There are six contested races on the Aug. 6 Republican primary ballot in Cape Girardeau County. There are no local contested races on the Democratic ticket. Here's a brief look at the contested races and the views of the GOP candidates.

U.S. Representative 8th District

Salary: $150,000Jo Ann Emerson

  • Age: 51

    Residence: Cape Girardeau

    Occupation: 8th District congresswoman

    Education: Graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in political science.

    Family: Married to labor lawyer Ron Gladney. She has two daughters and six stepchildren.

    Political history: Elected to Congress in 1996 and re-elected in 1998 and 2000. She was married to the late congressman Bill Emerson and served as deputy communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee from 1984 to 1990.

    Platform: "I think it is so important we make sure we can preserve the rural way of life." Wants to provide a safety net for farmers and transportation funding for her district. "It is absolutely critical because the only way we can help grow our economy in rural America is to have the infrastructure in place to attract business."

    RICHARD KLINE

  • Age: 63

    Residence: Gipsy, Mo.

    Occupation: Retired from the Coast Guard after 22 years of service.

    Education: Attended Memphis State Tech in Memphis, Tenn.

    Family: He and his wife, Lucille, have seven children by previous marriages.

    Political history: This is his third run for Congress. He won the GOP primary in 1996, but lost to Emerson in the November election when she ran as an independent. He lost in 1998 as a Democrat. He was the Reform Party candidate for governor in 2000.

    Platform: Wants to protect Social Security and improve medical care for veterans. "There is no money in the Social Security lock box. It will be my job to do the best I can to make sure they do not rob the Social Security Trust Fund." Says veterans shouldn't have to pay $1,500 deductibles for medical care. "These veterans hospitals are filled with arrogant, ignorant foreign doctors."

    State Representative 157th District

    Salary: $31,351Donna Lichtenegger

  • Age: 51

    Residence: Jackson, Mo.

    Occupation: Dental hygienist

    Education: Attended University of Missouri-Columbia, graduated from Forest Park Community College with an associate degree in dental hygiene.

    Family: Married to Jackson lawyer John Lichtenegger. They have two children.

    Political history: Active in local Republican Party. Served as co-coordinator of the George W. Bush presidential campaign in Southeast Missouri in 2000. Was a delegate at the 2000 GOP convention and an alternate delegate at the 1996 Republican convention.

    Platform: Opposes state Proposition B which would increase fuel and sales taxes to provide more money for transportation projects. Plan would put more funding into urban projects at the expense of rural projects. "We are not getting our fair share." Gaming revenue should go to supplement general revenue spent on education rather than be used in place of general revenue. "We don't need shell games in education. We need to keep the funding where it is supposed to be." Favors state tax credits for the ethanol and biodiesel industries. Plans on being a full-time legislator. "I think nowadays you almost need that."

    Gerald Adams

  • Age: 50

    Residence: Jackson, Mo.

    Occupation: Pressman at Nordenia USA, formerly worked as a dairy farmer.

    Education: Graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia with an agriculture degree.

    Family: He and his wife, Nancy, have three children.

    Political history: Served on the Jackson Board of Education for the past five years, the last two as president of the board.

    Platform: Opposes Proposition B. "I don't think it is fair for the rural areas. Too much money is going to projects in urban areas." Gambling money should go to schools, not into state's general revenue fund. Says reforms are needed in workers' compensation and unemployment insurance fund. The high cost to employers is sending jobs out of state. On the budget crisis, favors more uniform spending cuts. "We are going to probably need across-the-board spending cuts in departments and not have nursing homes and universities take the brunt of these cuts."TOM SACHSE

  • Age: 34

    Residence: Friedheim, Mo.

    Occupation: Manager of Shawneetown Feed and Seed store in Friedheim for the past 6 1/2 years, previously worked for Plaza Tire.

    Education: Graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in business agriculture.

    Family: He and his wife, Cheryl, have no children.

    Political history: First run for political office but has been involved in political issues as president of the Cape Girardeau County Farm Bureau and as a member of the resolutions committee of the Missouri Farm Bureau.

    Platform: Opposes Proposition B. "I don't feel like the highway commission has done enough to ensure that the money will be spent on the highways. We've been lied to in the past with the 15-year plan. I can't see rewarding them with more money." Stresses he is a "political outsider." "I do not want to be a politician. I want to be a public servant." Wants to keep state regulations from being a burden on businesses and farmers. Wants to put sunset clauses on most state spending measures. Says he's geographically in a position to represent the entire district, including those living in Perry County.

    Scott Lipke

  • Age: 33

    Residence: Jackson, Mo.

    Occupation: Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecuting attorney for over five years. Has been a practicing lawyer since 1995.

    Education: Graduated from Murray State University with a political science degree and from Valparaiso University School of Law.

    Family: He and his wife, Ashley, have a son.

    Political history: Actively involved in the local Republican Party

    Platform: Opposed to Proposition B. Too much of the funding would go to urban transportation projects. Too much money is earmarked for mass transit and other non-road projects. "They are trying to promise these projects to urban areas to get it passed. Wants the state to fully fund the school foundation formula. "I think you can get rid of some of the red tape that goes along with sending money down to the local level." Wants to strengthen nursing home laws. Favors allowing small businesses to band together to get health-care benefits at a more economical cost. Wants more fiscal responsibility in state government.

    Circuit Judge Division I

    Salary: $108,000William Syler

  • Age: 53

    Residence: Cape Girardeau

    Occupation: Division I circuit judge

    Education: Graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School.

    Family: He and his wife, Georganne, have two children.

    Political history: Elected in 1992 to an unexpired term as circuit judge and re-elected to a full, six-year term in 1996.

    Platform: Stresses his background as a former assistant prosecutor in Jackson and Cape Girardeau counties, and his 10 years as circuit judge. "I've handled every type of case that a circuit judge can handle including three death-penalty cases."

    BRYAN KELLER

  • Age: 48

    Residence: rural Cape Girardeau

    Occupation: Assistant public defender in Cape Girardeau County for the past three years. Previously worked as a school teacher, musician and composer, and in retail business and service business management.

    Education: Graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and Southern Illinois University Law School

    Family: He and his wife, Charlsie, have two children.

    Political history: First run for political office

    Platform: Stresses his experience in a variety of jobs, including handling over 1,200 criminal cases. "I have the education, experience and background to handle the law, but I also have the background and experience with people."

    Associate Circuit Judge Division III

    Salary: $96,000Gary Kamp

  • Age: 50

    Residence: Burfordville, Mo.

    Occupation: Division III associate circuit judge since 1995; served as assistant prosecutor in Cape Girardeau and Bollinger counties for nine years; also served as municipal prosecutor for the cities of Marble Hill, Mo., and Fredericktown, Mo., over a 16-year period.

    Education: Graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia Law School.

    Family: He and his wife, Gail, have two children.

    Political history: Elected as associate circuit judge in 1994 and re-elected to another four-year term in 1998.

    Platform: Stresses his experience. Since coming into office, he has handled more than 16,000 criminal cases. He estimates he also has handled between 30,000 and 35,000 traffic cases. "My division for the associate circuit is probably one of the very quickest in the state." He said criminal cases in his division are disposed of within less than 60 days on average. "We are pretty proud of the video arraignment system we started." The system allows prisoners to make an initial appearance through an Internet hookup from the jail without having to physically come to court.

    Lawrence Kasten

  • Age: 41

    Residence: Cape Girardeau

    Occupation: Associate administrative law judge for the Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation for the past 12 years; previously worked for the Lichtenegger law firm in Jackson, Mo., and as a prosecutor in municipal court in Jackson and an assistant prosecuting attorney in Cape Girardeau County

    Education: Graduated from University of Alabama and Sanford University's Cumberland School of Law

    Family: He and his wife, Alison, have a daughter.

    Political history: First run for public office

    Platform: Stresses qualifications. Says his past experience as a prosecutor and his current judicial position gives him the experience to be a circuit judge. In his current job, he has presided at more than 20,000 docket settings, including conferences, pre-hearings, mediations and hearings, as well as resolving more than 9,000 cases. "I have the criminal law background that I think is important combined with my current position as associate administrative law judge for the Division of Workers' Compensation which I have been doing since 1990."

    Presiding Commissioner

    Salary: $53,181Doug Flannery

  • Age: 41

    Residence: Crump, Mo.

    Occupation: Grading superintendent for MJC Construction of St. Jacob, Ill.

    Education: Graduate of Jackson High School

    Family: He and his wife, Kay, have a son.

    Political history: Ran for 1st District county commissioner in 2000 as a Democrat, losing to incumbent Republican Larry Bock. Helped lead the successful campaign against county zoning. Running for presiding commissioner as a Republican because he says the GOP supports the rights of gun owners.

    Platform: Wants to budget more money for and speed up the paving of county's gravel roads. He says that ultimately would save money by reducing road maintenance costs. "Now we spend $5,000 a mile to maintain a gravel road." Says the county has more than 300 miles of gravel roads. "We pave about four miles a year." The county should concentrate on roads, bridges and law enforcement. "County transit is a waste of money." Also would cut back the budget for the county's emergency management office.

    GERALD JONES

  • Age: 62

    Residence: rural Jackson, Mo.

    Occupation: Cape Girardeau County presiding commissioner for the past eight years; publisher of the Cash-Book Journal newspaper in Jackson

    Education: Graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia

    Family: He and his wife, Clarice, have three children.

    Political history: First elected as presiding commissioner in 1994 and re-elected in 1998.

    Platform: Stresses his experience. "I feel my term of office has been marked by conservative financial management of the county and common-sense leadership." The county commission needs to keep a close eye on the budget because revenue is getting tighter. "It's easy to be a leader when you've got a lot of money. The challenge becomes whenever you don't have a lot. We are getting to that spot." Roads are only a part of county commission business. "There are so many other responsibilities of county government. It keeps building."

    County Auditor

    Salary: $53,181David Ludwig

  • Age: 56

    Residence: Jackson, Mo.

    Occupation: Drury Inn sales agent; previously worked as account representative for Moore Business Forms Inc., served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.

    Education: Graduate of Southeast Missouri State University with a business administration degree.

    Family: He and his wife, Janet, have two children.

    Political history: Served as Jackson city alderman for 21 years ending this April.

    Platform: "I feel my business background and city government background provide a good blend of common sense and a conservative fiscal approach to county expenditures and budgets. That's important because the county auditor is the chief financial officer of the county and helps draft the county budget and keep track of spending. "I have worked with budgets and personnel with the city of Jackson. I feel like I have a good, mature grasp of how to get the most value for the taxpayers' money." He believes accountability to taxpayers should be top priority.

    Matt Hopkins

  • Age: 38

    Residence: Cape Girardeau

    Occupation: Cape Girardeau city councilman; previously worked as executive director for the March of Dimes and before that as a representative for Commerce Clearinghouse, selling law books to accountants and lawyers

    Education: Graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a business administration degree

    Family: He and his wife, Barbara, have two children.

    Political history: Ran for county collector in 1998; elected to the Cape Girardeau City Council in 2000.

    Platform: Stresses budgeting background. "I do have a degree in finance. I am trained in budgeting." The county budget is tight. "We need to make sure we can keep expenses in line and look at other ways to generate revenue, if necessary." Cape Girardeau County has no general revenue property tax. "I would like to see us keep it that way." The auditor makes no law. It is an administrative position that is critical to the efficient operation of the county. "I have a lot of experience in employee management and human resources as a result of the different jobs I have had."

    --Mark Bliss

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