Mahacek takes on Burton in the 92nd District


Michael Burton, left, and Bob Mahacek

By Erin Achenbach, News Editor

Incumbent Rep. Michael Burton D-Affton, is being challenged for the 92nd District Missouri House seat by Bob Mahacek, a newcomer to public office. The election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Burton, 40, graduated from Christian Brothers College High School and did some college at Lindenwood University. Burton was an outspoken advocate at the St. Louis County Council for several years in his quest to save the Tower Tee Golf Course. He ran for the 5th District council seat in 2018, but then dropped out and supported the eventual winner, Lisa Clancy.

Burton did not return the Call’s candidate questionnaire.

Mahacek, 53, is a consultant and driver for Innovative Intermodal. Him and his wife Julie have one daughter who attends school at Cor Jesu. He graduated from Vianney High School and got his undergraduate degree in business at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

When asked why he is seeking office for the first time, Mahacek said, “To get involved and try to make a difference in the lives of Missourians.”

He gave the following responses to The Call’s candidate questionnaire:

(Editor’s note: The following questions and answers appeared in the Oct. 13 and Oct. 20 print editions of The Call. They have been edited to fit in print.)

What issue do you consider the single most important issue in this race?

Mahacek: “Crime – we can’t have residents afraid in their own homes and neighborhoods while criminals run free.”

Other issues you perceive in your race and your position on each:

Mahacek: “Inflation – most of this is a result of out of control spending by the Biden administration. We have to spend the taxpayers money like it’s our own.”

What do you believe are the core responsibilities for someone elected to this office?

Mahacek: “To be honest, hard working and to represent and serve everyone in the district. We should always be looking for ways to improve the lives of all Missourians.”

What do you perceive to be the 92nd District’s greatest challenges?

Mahacek: “Crime – I support tougher penalties for violent criminals and repeat offenders. Education – I would like to see schools focus more on academic excellence and achievement.”

What do you perceive to be the state’s greatest challenges over the next decade?

Mahacek: “We have many challenges: again crime, inflation, education, health care, a mental health crisis and a drug epidemic to name a few. Having so many challenges, it’s important that we work together to find solutions for Missouri.”

How will you advocate for the needs of your district in the legislature?

Mahacek: “By constant communication and building long term relationships with other legislators as well as various Missouri agencies and being a representative that others respect and trust.”

What is your position on abortion?

Mahacek: “I’m pro-life and support exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I’m endorsed by Missouri Right to Life.”

What is your position on the death penalty?

Mahacek: “I am opposed yet given the brutality of some crimes, I certainly understand those who are in favor of it.”

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

Mahacek: “In general they should be used less and never used to move a business from one municipality to another.”

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

Mahacek: “I would not, I would prefer having a large majority of voters support these issues rather than just a simple majority.”

Are changes needed to the state’s foundation formula for funding education?

Mahacek: “Not at this time but I’ll naturally be open to looking at any proposals.”

Are changes needed to the law allowing citizens to conceal carry weapons?

Mahacek: “Before any changes are made, I would prefer to see aggressive prosecution of armed criminals and believe that would greatly reduce crime. Getting criminals and illegal guns off the street should be a top priority.”

Are changes needed to the state’s current Open Meetings and Records Law?

Mahacek: “I would have to look into this further.”

What do you propose to generate revenue for road and bridge improvements?

Mahacek: “Before we go to taxpayers for more money, we should look at reducing waste, streamlining and improving efficiency throughout state government.”

Are changes needed to the state’s eminent domain laws to prevent abuse?

Mahacek: “It does seem like some local governments are abusing this. I would support a law that would tighten up the use of imminent domain.”

What will you do to improve Missouri’s economy?

Mahacek: “Look for ways to reduce redundant, unnecessary regulations to encourage entrepreneurs and small business growth and development.”

Would you support legislation to facilitate a merger of St. Louis County and St. Louis city?

Mahacek: “Absolutely not. The city is incredibly important to the region as well as the state, yet they are going to have to govern far more effectively. That looks a bit too much like county tax payers having to bail out the city.”

What process do you favor for redistricting? What do you think of the state’s current redistricting process?

Mahacek: The current bipartisan process worked very well for the state house districts. I believe the bipartisan committee passed the state house maps unanimously.”

Do you support the changes the Legislature made to the Sunshine Law in 2019, including exempting some legislative records?

Mahacek: Yes, as explained to me, I support these changes.”

Should police departments be defunded?

Mahacek: Absolutely not. We should be supporting and respecting law enforcement instead of defunding and attacking them.”

What do you think of the leadership of Gov. Mike Parson?

Mahacek: I believe he has done a good job during a very challenging time. Not shutting down the entire state has led to Missouri being in a much better position than the blue states that shut down and put so many more people and small businesses out of work.”

What will or have you done to work across the aisle in Jefferson City?

Mahacek: Listen, communicate, try to find common ground and advance the best ideas for Missourians regardless of where they come from.”

What bill would you sponsor as your first legislation post-election?

Mahacek: Freeze property tax for seniors.”

Should the Missouri Attorney General be given subpoena power to investigate Sunshine Law violations?

Mahacek: Yes, I would support that.”

With fewer than 50 percent of rural Missourians having access to high-speed internet service, should newspapers continue to be the medium in which all public notices required by law are published and distributed in print to provide due process to those persons affected by the public notices?

Mahacek: Yes.”

Should members and staff of all public governmental bodies be prohibited from downloading or using software designed to send encrypted messages by electronic means that automatically self-destruct on communication devices purchased with public money? In other words, should the Confide app or other such software be prohibited from use because such apps are capable of destroying public records that should be available to citizens?

Mahacek: Absolutely.”

Do you support right-to-work legislation?

Mahacek: No, I’m opposed.”

What do you think of the state’s COVID-19 response?

Mahacek: I was very glad that Missouri didn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach and shut down the entire state.”

What changes should Missouri make to its health care system?

Mahacek: I am in favor of more of the preventative, proactive health care model and will also need to learn more about health care in Missouri.”

Should the Legislature oversee, authorize or regulate the use of emergency powers?

Mahacek: Yes, I believe that’s a vital part of our system of checks and balances.”