State rep to end campaign after second DWI arrest

Saturday, September 14, 2002

State Rep. Tom Burcham is dropping his re-election bid following his second arrest in five months for driving while intoxicated.

Burcham, R-Farmington, was arrested Tuesday by the Missouri State Highway Patrol for driving while intoxicated in Gasconade County. The 35-year-old lawyer, who was elected to the House in 2000, also was arrested for drunken driving in April in Jefferson City, Mo.

Burcham said he has asked a St. Francois County court to have his name dropped from the Nov. 5 ballot. The deadline for a court-ordered name removal is Sept. 24.

Burcham easily defeated Cecilia Fallert of Perryville, Mo., in the August GOP primary for the 106th District seat, which includes parts of Perry, Ste. Genevieve and St. Francois counties. He was set to face Democrat Dennis W. Smith of Farmington and independent Elbert Bohnert of Perryville in the general election.

If Burcham's name is removed from the ballot, the Republican committee for the 106th District will choose a replacement candidate. Fallert said on Friday that she is interested in taking Burcham's spot but noted the decision is up to the committee.

After his April arrest, Burcham checked into a St. Louis faith-based treatment center but was back at the Capitol in three weeks. Burcham said he is checking into a treatment facility again.

"It has grown, as problems with alcohol do, and it reached an unacceptable level probably about a year ago, and I thought that I had it beaten, but I did not," Burcham told KSDK television in St. Louis.

No court date for Burcham has been set in Gasconade County.

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