One sophomore representative is already looking to the 101st General Assembly and how he can better serve the people he represents.
Rep. Doug Beck has announced that he is seeking election to the state Senate in 2020. Sen. Scott Sifton, who represents the first senatorial district, is term-limited and perusing a bid for the Governor’s Office.
“I really love my community and want to give back to it,” said Beck. “The only reason I do this is it is just a higher form of community service.”
A pipefitter for more the three decades, Beck served as the Director of the Affton School Board for nine years and was first elected to the Missouri House in 2016. He won his re-election bid in 2018.
As a member of the House, he has fought against bills he believes will weaken workers rights and advocated for public schools. Beck pushed through a bill designating a portion of State Highway 30 in St. Louis County as the “Officer Blake Snyder Memorial Highway.”
“I try to always keep in mind that I am speaking for the people in my district. I do that as a state [representative] and will continue to do that as a state senator,” said Beck. “I weigh all the decisions that I make on how does it affect the people in my district.”
The people in his district are rather diverse when it comes to politics, he noted. That’s why he always considers his constituents before making a decision and doesn’t hesitate to cross the aisle when necessary.
“I’m right in the middle of that at times,” said Beck.
But, he recognized that there are some issues on which he will not bend on, such as right-to-work and the rights of laborers.
Constituents in his district put an emphasis on safety, public education and school districts, and don’t want right-to-work, Beck noted, and those are all issues he stands behind.
“I feel that I fit the district really well,” said Beck.
A laborer by trade, when Beck returns to the St. Louis region from working as a lawmaker in Jefferson City, he trades in his suit and ties for safety goggles and boots, working on construction sites.
Having two very different jobs doesn’t make him special in his mind or change the person that he is, it is just the way he serves his community and supports his family.
He is running for the state Senate for the same reason he ran for the state House and the school board: to help people.
“[I want] to help people. Whether it is kids, working people, middle class, elderly people that are in the district on fixed incomes. That is strictly the reason why I have done anything I have done,” said Beck. “Moving to the Senate would enable me to get more things done, I believe. To work across the aisle to bring better things to the citizens of my community.”
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.