FLORISSANT, Mo. – Former state Rep. Bert Atkins, D-Florissant, announced Wednesday that he would contend for the 68th District seat that will be up for grabs as Rep. Keith English will not be running for re-election.
The Democrat says his voice would best represent the district since the area has consistently voted for Democrats in the past. Only last year, when English announced he was an Independent, was the district not in the hands of a Democrat.
“The fight against the right-to-work scam and assaults on the rights of working people are far from over,” he said in a statement. “We need to keep this district in the hands of a strong pro-union Democrat, The Republican supermajorities in the Missouri General Assembly refuse to expand Medicaid coverage, have cut money to our schools, want to take away the protections of workers compensation and prevailing wage laws.
“Republicans will keep trying to destroy organized labor in order to reduce wages for all workers in Missouri. Eight of the ten poorest states in the nation are so-called right-to-work states and workers in those states earn an average of $1,500 less than those in Missouri.”
Atkins also had strong words about the state of Jefferson City culture in his release.
“We also need to restore a sense of decency and professionalism to the Missouri General Assembly in the wake of scandals involving how interns and women have been treated. We also need to stop the influence of multi-millionaires and big out-of-state corporations that try to drown out the voices of the people with giant donations. We need to make it clear that it is the people’s House and is not for sale.”
Atkins previously served two terms after being elected in 2008. In 2012, he lost as an incumbent to Keith English in the Democratic primary. Atkins currently works at Boeing and is a member of the Machinist Union.