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Local History

Missouri State Representative Campaign Race for the 135th District: Charlie Denison

In the 135th voting district, current state representative Charlie Dennison is campaigning for reelection, running against Democratic opponent Nancy Hagan. KSMU's Brett Moser spoke with the Republican incumbent about issues central to his campaign as well as his roles as legislator and candidate. In the Iron Bridge retirement community, matching brick condos line the drive as the road meanders to the end of the block where Charlie Denison lives. Exiting his garage with a stack of campaign pamphlets in hand, Denison sets off to walk the southern Springfield neighborhood behind his development.

Denison is hard at work running for reelection as a state representative of the 135th district while still taking care of legislative affairs in Jefferson City.

Born and raised in Texas, Denison's experience before politics was in trucking and construction equipment sales management. Though Denison received job offers across the country in 1980, he and his wife decided to settle down in Springfield.

Denison served on the Springfield City Council from 1994 to 1998. Then in 2004, he ran for the district's representative seat. Denison has held the position since then and is now running for his third and final term.

The issue of education remains integral to his campaign, but adds that it's the government's job to assist ... not control ... local school boards.

Denison says that in this election, concerns about the local economy and job market are at the forefront of voters' minds. He believes that a greater focus on higher education is a possible way to confront these issues.

With paperwork in neat, numerous piles on the kitchen table, Denison operates the campaign from his condo in south Springfield. He says the activities of a typical campaign day vary, but usually involve putting together brochures, answering constituent needs, and meeting with people in the district.

During election season, Denison pulls double duty, taking care of his tasks as state representative in Jefferson City and Springfield as well as orchestrating his campaign. Denison responds that it's something he doesn't find difficult at all.

If re-elected, Denison says he wants to continue pursuing new methods in combating illegal immigration and illegal drugs ... problems he says create a situation for Missouri that isn't pretty.

Denison says that if elected for a third term, personally helping the people of the district will remain his focus.

Denison currently holds positions on the transportation and tourism committees in the Missouri House of Representatives.

For KSMU News, I'm Brett Moser.