Rohrbacher challenges Schoemel in District 100
By MIKE ANTHONY
Republican Michael Rohrbacker is challenging Democratic incumbent Sue Schoe-mehl for the 100th District Missouri House seat in what promises to be a hotly contested race.
In the November 2002 election, Schoe-mehl edged out Rohrbacker for the 100th District seat by 153 votes. Schoemehl re-ceived 7,236 votes — 50.53 percent — while Rohrbacker garnered 7,083 votes — 49.97 percent.
Schoemehl and Rohrbacker will square off again in the Nov. 2 election for the 100th District seat, which carries a two-year term.
Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, Rohrbacker said, "I believe that two issues are very important. Fighting for the sanctity of human life is critical to our society. I believe that abortion has negatively impacted our society on many levels. I oppose state funding for abortions.
"Second, I feel that improving quality of life through better health care and education will allow Missouri's citizens to better pursue their own dreams and goals,'' Rohr-backer added.
Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, Schoemehl said, "I have met many citizens in this community who have lost their jobs over the past few years. Creating an economic environment to se-cure quality jobs for these people is my top priority.''
Rohrbacker, 32, 4109 Lisieux Lane, 63129, is a self-employed insurance broker affiliated with Physician's Mutual and the Carillon Group. He is single.
Rohrbacker has served on the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees since 1996 and currently is board president.
He said he is seeking election because "my parents have always taught me that I should give back to my community. I am not the kind of person to sit on the sidelines; rather I try to find solutions for problems in our community.''
Schoemehl, 50, 2629 Bluff Ridge Drive, 63129, was elected to the Missouri House in November 2002. She and her husband, Chris, have two college-age children.
Schoemehl is seeking re-election so she can "continue to serve the people of Oak-ville as their state representative.''
The candidates gave the following re-sponses to a Call questionnaire:
What is your position on abortion?
Rohrbacker said, "I am ardently pro-life. Furthermore, I will pledge to only support a pro-life leadership in the Missouri House.''
Schoemehl said, "I am pro-life and I am the only candidate in this race endorsed by Missouri Right to Life.''
What is your position on the death penalty?
Rohrbacker said, "I believe only habitually violent criminals, with no concern for human life, should be humanely and swiftly deprived of their own life if sufficient DNA and forensics evidence is presented in their conviction.''
Schoemehl said, "I am opposed.''
Would you support placing a constitutional amendment before voters that, if approved, would repeal the supermajority requirement for school district bond issues?
Rohrbacker said, "I would support allowing the voters to decide if they want to repeal the supermajority requirement for bond issues, but only if it is placed on a November ballot when voter turnout is the highest so the issue will be considered by the highest number of voters.''
Schoemehl said, "Yes. I sponsored this simple majority bill, but unfortunately it was not given a hearing this session. Any future legislation should have an added protection for seniors.''
Are changes needed to the law allowing Missouri citizens to carry concealed weapons?
Rohrbacker said, "I believe the current law provides the needed safeguards to guard against abuse of this freedom. This bill simply allows a well-trained, law-abiding citizen the right to defend their family against violent attackers. This law is especially important for women who are most often the target of violent predators such as car jackers and sexual predators.''
Schoemehl said, "... I oppose concealed weapons. My constituents overwhelmingly opposed conceal and carry on a ballot vote and I will support them.''
What do you propose to make health care accessible and affordable to Mis-souri citizens?
Rohrbacker said, "The first step is to eliminate the fraud and waste in the Medicaid welfare program. Second, I will encourage more workforce training for adults so they can find better jobs that have health benefits. Also we need to let associations purchase health care as a group, thereby lowering the risk pool for an employer, which reduces cost. Finally, I will work to improve the state's insurance regulations to make it easier for Missouri citizens to get good, affordable health care.''
Schoemehl said, "My bipartisan bill on hospital infections does lower costs as well as save lives. We also must work toward meaningful insurance reform and regulation combined with a revision of the system to bring down costs for both doctors and patients.''
The Legislature last session approved legislation protecting Missouri citizens from Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation, or SLAPP, lawsuits. Should the provisions of this legislation be ex-panded?
Rohrbacker said, "I think the SLAPP legislation should be expanded. When an organization, company or person is petitioning the government for something, they should expect that all opinions should be heard and respected. It is the very foundation of freedom and good government.''
Schoemehl said, "This summer, I served on a select bipartisan committee investigating SLAPP suits. We will be sponsoring legislation to protect citizens from these types of frivolous suits.''