January 8, 2004

Berkowitz Seeking To Regain Seat In House Of Representatives

Former First District State Representative Sam Berkowitz (D-Memphis) rang in the New Year January 2 by announcing his intentions to seek re-election to the Missouri House of Representatives.

After two terms in the legislature Berkowitz gave up his seat in the house for an unsuccessful run at the Missouri State Senate as the Democratic party attempted to unseat Senator John Cauthorn and regain the 18th Senatorial District formerly held by Lt. Governor Joe Maxwell.

He was originally elected to the House in 1998 to replace Karl DeMarce (D-Memphis) who did not seek re-election.

I was first elected to the House by promising to build bridges, Berkowitz said. Building on the work of my predecessors, we were able to secure funding to build highway roads and bridges throughout northeast Missouri. Now that connection has been broken.

The campaigning began immediately alongside the announcement as Berkowitz pointed the finger at his likely opponent in the November 2004 election, current First District Representative Brian Munzlinger (R-Lewistown) as the main reason for his return to the political arena.

This past year has seen a tremendous weakening of the voice of the people of northeast Missouri, he said. We no longer command the respect of the folks in Jefferson City.

He continued along the same line, citing the strong legacy created by former First District representatives Norman Merill, Richard DeCoster, Estil Fretwell, Steve Waters, Jim Sears and Karl DeMarce had faded in the past year.

In announcing my candidacy, I pledge that I will return northeast Missouri to its place of prominence in Jefferson City, Berkowitz said. We can no longer stand idle while our rural school districts are placed in jeopardy. We can no longer watch while programs for senior citizens are cut and nursing home care is not at its best. We need to continue to fight for better healthcare for our children and the working class. We will not continue to watch, as the progress that was gained for better roads and bridges is shifted away to other parts of the state.

The former legislator touted his series of legislative forums that he held at sites within the first district bringing members of the House of Representatives from all over the state to this region to discuss such topics as education, healthcare, agriculture and transportation.

I have worked to build bridges in the legislature and with the various departments in Jefferson City, Berkowitz said. We built these bridges with people who had never been to northeast Missouri. They came, learned and went away impressed. By building these bridges we opened avenues of cooperation throughout state government. We accomplished many things for our area. Now those bridges have been destroyed.

Berkwoitz concluded his announcement stating, Just as we have rebuilt many of our highway bridges, we must now seek to rebuild those personal bridges. That is how we get things done.

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