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Our Opinion: Three area representatives earn new terms

Area residents have enjoyed solid representation in the state Legislature during the past four years.

Based on their performances during their first terms in the House of Representatives, a trio of Republican lawmakers have earned re-election.

They, and their reconfigured House districts, are: Jay Barnes in District 60, which includes the majority of Jefferson City; Mike Bernskoetter in District 59, which includes eastern Jefferson City and most of Cole County, plus a portion of northern Miller County; and Jeannie Riddle in District 49, which includes southern Callaway County, and a small area of Cole County, west of Jefferson City.

All have worked diligently and amassed admirable records, particularly with regard to the welfare of state employees, improving economic development and supporting expansion at the Callaway Nuclear Plant.

Barnes was among the leading backers of a state employee pay raise of 2 percent, which exceeded the governor’s recommendation.

As chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability, he has been instrumental in scrutinizing state tax credits, including investigating the state’s role in the failed Mamtek project.

He also has been a supporter of bringing small, modular nuclear reactors to the Callaway Nuclear Plant site.

Bernskoetter also has played a key role in compensation for state workers.

As chairman of the legislature’s Joint Interim Committee on State Employee Wages, he leads an ongoing effort to examine state salaries and find ways to improve them.

Bernskoetter also has worked to promote development of the former Missouri State Penitentiary site.

Across the Missouri River, Riddle has championed efforts to expand the Callaway Plant, most recently with the addition of modular reactors.

She points to a study that indicates the addition could: create 8,000 new direct jobs and 8,500 new indirect jobs; bring $25 billion to the state’s economy; and pave the way for Missouri to become a major exporter of the power units.

A former educator, she has served as assistant majority floor leader and chaired the House Rules Committee.

Based on their accomplishments and efforts during their first terms, Barnes, Bernskoetter and Riddle deserve to be re-elected on Tuesday.

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