Local lawmakers claim neutrality in House race
Sater, Fitzpatrick not taking sides in Moon, Ruzicka election
Two local lawmakers are declining to take sides in an August primary featuring a Republican incumbent.
Mike Moon of Ash Grove and Julie Ruzicka of Mt. Vernon are set to square off in the Aug. 5 Republican primary for the 157th House seat.
State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, said he knows both candidates, having worked with Moon during his time in office after he won a special election.
"I'm not endorsing one candidate over the other," Fitzpatrick said. "Julie is the wife of Don Ruzicka, and he was the representative before Mike was, and Don and I were roommates for one year in Jefferson City. I'm friends with both of them."
Fitzpatrick said he has worked with Moon well, and he has also worked with Don Ruzicka well. If Julie Ruzicka were to get elected, they would get along just the same, he said.
"Either one can do the job, and the decision will have to be made by the voters in Lawrence County," he said. "I told Don I'll be watching from the Barry County line and whoever is elected will do well."
State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, said he is also not taking sides in the race.
"I do not get involved in endorsing candidates in primaries," he said. "I may have a personal preference, but I will not say which that is or give money to either candidate because I feel that's out of bounds."
Moon was elected in a special election. The 157th District includes all but the southwestern corner of Lawrence County, including the eastern half of Pierce City.