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Two seek GOP nod for state Senate seat

Two Republicans are seeking their party's nomination for the 1st District Missouri Senate seat in next week's primary.

David A. Strickland of St. Louis and Bob Yeckel of Sunset Hills are vying for their party's nod in the Tuesday, Aug. 3, primary for the seat, which currently is held by Yeckel's wife, Anita. Anita Yeckel cannot seek re-election to the Senate because of term limits and is seeking the Republican nomination for state treasurer in a seven-candidate race.

The Republican winner of the 1st Senate District primary will face Democrat Harry Kennedy of St. Louis and Green Party candidate David Sladky of Lemay in the November election. Kennedy currently serves as the District 3 state senator. Because of redistricting, Kennedy cannot seek re-election in the 3rd District.

Strickland did not respond to a Call questionnaire. The most important issue in the race, Yeckel said, is "to continue economic development, growth of new jobs and improving our infrastructure — roads, etc.''

Yeckel, 64, 8819 Gladlea Drive, 63127, is a retired banker. He and his wife have two grown children.

Yeckel, who served on the Mehlville Board of Education from 1977 to 1980, is seeking the Republican nomination to the 1st District Missouri Senate seat "to continue the outstanding leadership and representation the people have come to expect for the past 20 years.''

Yeckel gave the following responses to a Call questionnaire:

What is your position on abortion?

Yeckel said, "I am pro-life. I support stem cell research without human cloning.''

What is your position on the death penalty?

Yeckel said, "To retain the death penalty for the most heinous of crimes.''

What is your position on tax-increment financing? Are changes needed to this law?

Yeckel said, "I support TIF and hope that recent changes will help solve past problems.''

Would you support placing a constitutional amendment before voters that, if approved, would repeal the supermajority requirement for school district bond issues?

Yeckel said, "No. I believe that property owners should have some protection and that bond issues should have overwhelming community support.''

What do you propose to solve funding problems facing public education?

Yeckel said, "Give more local control to the community. Raise standards of achievement without federal and state fine-tuning. Reallocation of taxes through elimination of waste in state government.''

Are changes needed to the law allowing Missouri citizens to carry concealed weapons? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yeckel said, "Setting fees for the licensing procedure would eliminate political meddling.''

Are changes needed to the state's current Open Meetings and Records Law? If so, what would you propose?

Yeckel said, "Recent changes to this law probably need to be implemented and after two years of experience these should be reviewed by the Legislature.''

What measures, if any, will you propose to encourage economic development in this area?

Yeckel said, "Cooperation between city, county and state government would be a good first step. Improved roads and access to highways, rivers and air facilities would help attract new business.''

Do you support the existing emissions testing program in St. Louis County administered as the Gateway Clean Air Program?

Yeckel said, "This program should end with the expiration of the state contract. If a 'buyout' could be negotiated, this could end sooner rather than later. Emission testing could be moved to the private sector.''

Are you satisfied with the changes made to the assessment process? If yes, why? If not, why and what changes would you propose?

Yeckel said, "It seems to me that assessment on existing homes could be done on a 10-year cycle with no more than a 10 percent increase for metropolitan areas such as St. Louis and metro areas of more than 50,000 voters.''

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