By MARY ANN HOLLEY
St. Charles – Anyone involved in politics or the Labor Movement in St. Charles County likely already knows Kenny Biermann, the Democratic candidate in Missouri House District 65.
In 2008, Biermann ran and won in House District 17, beating incumbent Vicki Schneider in a hotly contested race. He served a two-year term through 2010. He is on the Tri-County Labor Club and the Orchard Farm School Board, helps with community service organizations and previously served on the county’s Homeless and Indigent Council.
After running unopposed in the August primary, he’s on the Nov. 8 ballot because he can’t seem to quell his drive to make things better for working people.
Biermann and his wife, Julie, are well known in the community. You’ll find both out knocking on doors, hand-billing and fighting against so-called “right-to-work” and paycheck deception, among other issues.
Julie Biermann says people ask why her husband is running for state representative when he is so busy with other community organizations.
“If you know Kenny Biermann, or take time to learn about his values, you’ll find he is all about education and working men and women,” she said.
He persists in volunteering, gets involved in community issues and believes in the political process, even though the campaign this year has been rough, she said.
“I can hardly wait to go to the mailbox and see the stuff the opponents send out. They have called Kenny a lizard, a clown and whatever they find to make him look bad,” she said. “I can tell you he does not own a Fitbit. He does not need that to measure how many steps he has gone for what matters most. He took that one important step – to represent all working men and women of this community.”
He has noticed that the legislative district is getting more Democratic – an encouraging sign.
“Most people say St. Charles is Republican territory, but I see that's changing,” he said. “St. Charles is a community of working men and women, and there is a growing group of diverse residents who are learning that not all political representatives work in their best interest.”
KNOCKING ON DOORS
Biermann said he’s learned a lot about what St. Charles area residents are thinking from knocking on doors from the St. Charles Riverfront to Blanchette Park.
“I’ve lived here 40 years, and it’s getting more diverse,” he said. “I never realized how much it’s changing since I walked through town. I don’t know about the whole county, but if anything is turning Democrat, it’s the city of St. Charles.”
The area around Lindenwood University is becoming very liberal, he said.
“I go to almost every single door. I was out today and found people in the city of St. Charles are in a pretty upbeat mode,” he noted. “Years ago, they wanted to talk about health care or unemployment. Today, somebody might ask about school issues or simpler issues like bicycle rules or whatever.”
Biermann is endorsed by COPE, Tri-County Labor Club, the Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri NEA, Firefighters Local 2665, and more are still coming in.
“All four major education groups have endorsed my campaign,” he said. “As a school board member, I’m opposed to school choice. There is nothing better than a good community school. We live in those communities. School ratings affect your home values and your child’s education, and the school is a big part of who we are.”
Other big issues for Biermann are protecting prevailing-wage laws and stopping both paycheck deception and “right-to-work” proposals.
Political reports say his candidacy is competitive. So a vote for Biermann is one to send a voice for Labor and better schools to Jefferson City.