Count Kevin Wilson as the only Joplin-area representative who stood up and voted no against Rep. Ted Hoskins' full employment for incumbents bill today.
The bill, which makes it even more difficult for independents, who already face nearl insurmountable barriers, to have an even contest with Democrats or Republicans, was passed by a 96-40 vote, with Wilson, a Neosho Republican, Rep. Jim Viebrock, R-Republic, and Rep. Charlie Norr, D-Springfield, as the only southwest Missouri legislators to vote against the measure.
Among those voting for the bill were: Ron Richard, R-Joplin, Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, David Sater, R-Cassville, Don Ruzicka, R-Mount Vernon, Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, Ed Emery, R-Lamar, B. J. Marsh, R-Springfield, Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, and Bob Dixon, R-Springfield.
The bill has already had its first reading in the Senate, the chamber in which it originated in 2007, when it was proposed by Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, and co-sponsored by Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, both of whom were inconvenienced by challenges from independent candidates in 2006.
The bill forces independent candidates to file for office at the same time as Democrats and Republicans, even though they have no primary elections.