SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — As a lawyer who specializes in worker’s compensation, Robert Butler said he’s seen legislation that is not in the people’s best interest. Butler is the Democratic candidate for State Representative of the 112th District. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, holds the seat and is running for the 22nd Senatorial seat.
“I felt things like worker’s compensation was not properly attended to (in the legislature),” Butler said. “I feel like a lot of laws in the past have … actually hurt working men and women in the state. And working with that frequently and seeing that … I feel like we are imbalanced in Jefferson City right now. I’m happy to get involved and try and change some things that I thought are going wrong in Jeff[erson] City.”
This is Butler’s first race and although elections are nearly a year away, Butler said he’s already learned a lot about campaigning and his district.
“There’s a broad base of issues and concern in my district and I learned there’s a fair amount of diversity,” Butler said.
Butler said because he works closely with people in his job, he is aware of and in touch with the needs of his possible constituents.
“People in my district are looking for jobs. People just want to be taken care of,” Butler said. “They want to be able to raise their family, they want to be able to have a job, they want to have a decent standard of living and those are standard to my goals.”
Being a first-time candidate, Butler added he learned the game of politics watching his father, the director of consumer affairs under former Gov. Joe Teasdale.
Butler said he and his campaign committee started fundraising and have raised $1,500 so far, “which isn’t very much but we just started the process,” Butler said. Butler added he’s been in contact with organizations to endorse him and has a good feeling they will come through, but support has not yet been made official. He added he anticipates a “fair number” of endorsements.
Butler has a focus on cutting special interest influence in Jefferson City in order to accomplish his goals for the people. He said he feels politics in Missouri’s Capitol are “slanted heavy in one direction” and special interest groups have “a real strong hold” there.
“I feel that the way to formally make some changes or to perpetuate change is to take a stand and get involved,” Butler said. “And the way you can do that is to put yourself out there and to take some chances doing that.”
Butler said he will host a kickoff event in early December. Butler said he thinks the campaign is going well and is “very pleased.”
Brittany Ruess is a reporter for The Missouri Times and the SEMO Times, and a graduate of Webster University. To contact Brittany, email brittany@themissouritimes, or via Twitter @brittanyruess.