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Businessmen Fishel, Munzinger gear up for House bids

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Within a day of each other, Springfield businessmen Craig Fishel and Jeff Munzinger signaled plans to run for the same seat next year in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Both are seeking the 136th District seat in the House currently held by Republican Kevin Austin, who has indicated he will not run for re-election next year. Fishel is running as a Republican, while Munzinger is a Democrat.

For Fishel, the announcement came a day after his resignation became effective as the city of Springfield’s Zone 4 councilman. Munzinger announced his plans Feb. 2, followed the next day by Fishel.

“My background as a successful small-business owner and Springfield City Council member has prepared me to be an effective advocate for the 136th District and to serve with integrity and transparency,” said Fishel, the owner of Fishel Pools, in the release. “As a state, we need to focus on remaining fiscally responsible, attracting new business and growing existing businesses, including recruiting, training and retaining a talented workforce.

“A vibrant economy, job creation and a growing, skilled workforce benefits all Missourians.”

Munzinger, the retired co-owner of Munzinger & Co. Inc., a marketing organization for marine and sporting goods manufacturing, in 2016 lost to Austin for the 136th District seat.

The Democrat said he would focus on education, health care, the environment and transportation. His chief goal, he said, is prioritizing funding for public education.

“Not only must we end the legislature’s continued efforts to cut funding for public schools and colleges, we need to restore funding to former levels if Missouri is going to compete for quality jobs and improvements in the lives of our citizens,” Munzinger said in a Feb. 2 news release.

In a filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Munzinger reported $6,511 in cash on hand as of January. Fishel has not yet filed with the commission.

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