The list of candidates for the new 108th Legislative District is smaller today, after Highland businessman Steve Klingbeil announced he is pulling out of the race. The seat opened up after long-time Republican Representative Ron Stephens of Greenville announced he was stepping down in August. Klingbeil cites an opportunity to create jobs through a blossoming business opportunity for his early exit.
Stephens served in the state House for 27 years and was a conservative voice at the state capital for years. He says his successor will have to possess a certain skill set.
Paul Evans was appointed by GOP leaders following Stephens' resignation, and is planning on running for the seat in the March primary. He will be challenged by Don Weber, a former Madison County state's Attorney who oversaw the high profile Paula Sims child-murder trial in the late 1980's. Another Republican, Charlie Meier of Okawville, has also announced his intention to run for the 108th seat. The primary election is March 20th, and there are no Democratics on the ballot.