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Freshmen to Watch: Jamie Burger

The Missouri Times is speaking to new lawmakers this session. Get to know more of the “Freshmen to Watch” here.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Republican Rep. Jamie Burger has lived in southeast Missouri his entire life.

Although he is the freshman representative for HD 148, Burger said his position is that he represents the southeast. 

“What’s good for District 149 or District 147 is good for District 148,” he said. 

As a self-proclaimed representative for an entire region of the state, Burger sees COVID-19 restrictions as the biggest issue to tackle.

“I feel like if the big box stores should be open, the mom-and-pop store on Main Street should be open, too,” Burger said of the economic shutdowns that have hit much of the state in the wake of the pandemic.

Before winning his election unopposed, Burger worked at Buzzi Unicem (pronounced boot-zee oo-nih-chem) USA, a ready-mix concrete supplier, for nearly four decades. His legislative office boasts a large award from the company thanking him for 37 years of service. 

He was also on the Scott County Commission for 18 of those years, serving as presiding commissioner for most of his tenure. His time on the commission, and the successes he saw there, made him interested in the statehouse.

“Several times when we came up here to visit the legislature, I’d always think ‘I could do that, and I’d have an interest in that. I think I could make a difference,’” Burger told The Missouri Times.

When he first joined the commission, the county had $324,000 in the bank, Burger said. He felt like he made a bad mistake. But his time serving on the commission had a happy ending.

“We finished 2018 with $1 million in reserve and $750,000 in our checking account,” he said. “We paved many many miles of roads, fixed some deficient bridges, remodeled our historic courthouse completely, built a justice center, and just did a lot of things I felt [were] beneficial for the county.”

In his first legislative session, Burger is serving on the Agriculture Policy, Local Government, and Transportation committees — and he has found all three of them interesting. 

“There’s so many things that are brought to the forefront that you never think about. Ideas come from all over the state of Missouri,” he said.

A lifelong Catholic, Burger considers himself to be very faith-driven. He is very active in his church, serving as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister. 

“My motto always is ‘God. Family. Job.’ And I’m gonna keep it in that order for the rest of my life,” Burger said.