Jefferson City's state reps both eye third terms

Jefferson City’s two state representatives each confirmed on Thursday they plan to seek third terms in the Missouri House, and each has about the same campaign funds entering the 2014 election cycle.

Each has around $39,000 cash on hand, according to the latest campaign finance reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. But Republicans Jay Barnes and Mike Bernskoetter arrived at their totals differently.

Both Republicans were elected in 2010, and both seats are open this year. Both say they’ll seek re-election. The primary is set for Aug. 5, and the general election for Nov. 4. Filing starts Feb. 28.

Barnes said serving another term in the House would allow him to do “the most good for the most people.”

“It’s very difficult work; it can also be very rewarding when you’re successful getting a bill passed that can help people,” he said.

Barnes said he’s proud of many accomplishments at the Capitol, including his work supporting state employees, working to pass education reform and a bill last year that extended the ticket to work program. That program was designed to remove barriers that kept people with disabilities from choosing to work for fear of losing health care coverage.

Bernskoetter said his biggest satisfaction in the job isn’t what he does at the Capitol, but staying in touch with his district and its residents.

“I enjoy talking to constituents, helping them with their problems,” he said. “As far as what happens over at the Capitol, that’s not a big deal to me. I think I represent my district well. That’s what I’m mostly concerned with.”

Barnes, R-Jefferson City, nearly doubled his campaign war chest to more than $39,000, according to his newly filed quarterly report.

In the last three months of 2013, Barnes added $18,528.86, after $2,246.14 in expenses. The revenue to his campaign came exclusively through monetary contributions of $100 or more.

Barnes represents most of Jefferson City, while Bernskoetter represents much of the rest of Cole County and part of Miller County.

Barnes generally had larger donations than Bernskoetter. His two largest donations were each $2,500, while Bernskoetter’s two largest were $750 and $500.

Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, made up some of the difference through a barbecue pork steak dinner fundraiser. Through that and contributions, he increased his campaign coffers by nearly $12,600 in the past quarter.

His campaign had $39,416.32 on hand at the end of 2013. During the three months leading to the end of the year, the campaign gained $15,220 and spent $2,635.92.

Gains came from mainly through three sources: itemized contributions ($100 or more) accounted for $8,077.20; contributions of $100 or less, $4,880; and the fundraiser, $2,735.

The latest quarterly campaign finance reports were due Wednesday, and can be found at www.mec.mo.gov.

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