Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Attorney General Nixon Seeks to Keep Office State's Top Legal Position Draws Two Hopefuls to Challenge the Incumbent

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Attorney General Nixon Seeks to Keep Office State's Top Legal Position Draws Two Hopefuls to Challenge the Incumbent

Article excerpt

A three-way battle for the Missouri attorney general's office is pitting incumbent Democrat Jeremiah W. "Jay" Nixon of Jefferson City against two challengers a one from the Kansas City area and the other from mid-Missouri.

Republican hopeful Mark J. Bredemeier of Lee's Summit and U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate Kimberly Lowe, a lawyer in Dixon seeking office for the first time, are vying for the state's top law-enforcement job.

The attorney general is the state's chief legal officer and must prosecute or defend all appeals to which Missouri is a party, including every felony case appealed to the state's courts of appeal or Supreme Court. The top legal officer also must give official opinions to the executive and legislative branches of government and must advise county prosecuting attorneys on questions of law related to their duties. The office was set up in 1806, when Missouri was part of the Louisiana Territory. The position has been an elective office since 1865. The winner will serve a four-year term and will be paid about $93,211 in 1997. Here are profiles of the attorney general candidates. DEMOCRAT JEREMIAH W. "JAY" NIXON AGE: 40 HOME: Jefferson City OCCUPATION: Lawyer; attorney general POLITICAL CAREER: Incumbent, elected 1992; elected to the state Senate, 1986, re-elected in 1990 PRIORITIES: My successful efforts to clean up the Second Injury Fund and restore integrity to the attorney general's office. I have saved state taxpayers' money and have allowed us to focus attention on my No. 1 priority a fighting crime. Fighting crime will remain the top priority of the office, and I will continue to focus efforts to assure juvenile accountability and safety in our schools. Other areas of focus include consumer-protection issues as they relate to managed health care. We must have laws that ensure that consumers in a managed-care environment have access to quality, affordable health care and a delivery system that is convenient and reliable. QUALIFICATIONS: Experience as a prosecutor: I have personally handled death penalty cases in the county courthouses and in the U.S. Supreme Court. Experience in law enforcement: I have worked with law enforcment agencies throughout the state to secure tougher laws, including reform of the juvenile laws and laws for safer schools. Aggressive record on consumer and environmental issues: I have taken action to criminalize consumer fraud and have also secured the largest consumer settlements in the state's history. I have aggressively enforced the state's environmental laws and obtained the state's first criminal conviction for environmental pollution. REPUBLICAN MARK J. BREDEMEIER AGE: 39 HOME: Lee's Summit OCCUPATION: Lawyer; general counsel of the Landmark Legal Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes free enterprise and limited government POLITICAL CAREER: Served on the Lee's Summit school board, 1993-1996; Lee's Summit charter commission, 1995-1996; Republican nominee in 1990 for Jackson County executive PRIORITIES: My top priority will be to restore professionalism and integrity to the way the attorney general's office is run. …

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