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story.lead_photo.caption Samantha Pogue/News TribuneRetired teacher Linda Greeson, a Democrat, is vying for the District 59 seat in the Missouri House of Representatives.

The Missouri General Assembly could use a representative with a firm grasp on the complexities of public education, said Linda Ellen Greeson, the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives 59th District seat.

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Greeson is a retired teacher who, over the past six years, has worked on legislative issues as a volunteer for the Missouri Retired Teachers Association. The district includes a portion of eastern Jefferson City, most of Cole County and a portion of northern Miller County.

Voters will choose between Greeson, of Eldon, and Rudy Veit, her Republican opponent, during the Nov. 6 general election.

Although this is her first run for a state office, Greeson said her work with the MRTA has prepared her to work in the General Assembly.

"I currently serve as the state chairwoman on the MRTA Legislative Committee," Greeson said. "That has put me up here in the Capitol, in and out of hearings, talking with senators and representatives and other officials regarding issues for retired teachers."

The daughter of a sharecropper, Greeson was born and raised in Missouri's Bootheel but moved to central Missouri more than 40 years ago.

"Back in those days, all of that farming area down there (in Southeast Missouri) was Democratic," she said. "That's the values I was born and raised with."

She and her husband, Danny, run a family farm and have two children and two grandchildren.

They operate a small cow/calf operation and feel connected with the people in the district.

"The 59th District is agricultural," Greeson said. "Its outlying areas — a small section — are in the city limits. It's Centertown, Russellville, Lohman, Olean, Wardsville, Taos; it's the rural area."

The candidates are vying for the seat held by state Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, who is completing his fourth term. Term limits prohibit him from running for another term. He is now the Republican candidate for the state Senate seat once held by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

Greeson said she anticipates that despite voters' defeating it by a 2-1 margin, some lawmakers will continue to support legislation similar to Proposition A, which would have allowed the right-to-work bill to go into effect, decreasing union memberships.

Unions have marvelous training programs and provide workers with pensions and affordable health insurance, she said.

However, she thinks the election may come down to who connects with voters, and that's why Greeson is going to communities to reach out to them.

"Knowing the people in the district, there are a lot of people who — I guess you would almost call them silent Democrats — because they are for helping people," she said. "They are for doing the right thing in various situations."

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