Meet the freshmen: St. Louis Area
This is the second installment of our week-long, six part series,
“Meet the Freshmen.”
Bob Burns, D-St. Louis —
Hometown: St. Louis
Political career highlight: “I’ve been involved in public service for 40 years with the Affton School Board and working for Congressman Dick Gephardt and Sen. Claire McCaskill.”
Key Issues: “I have a labor background, so protecting workers is important to me.”
What people don’t know: “I had my own band for the four years I was in high school. Played music from 1960-1998. I played the bass guitar, and our band played old time rock and roll. Our band was called the Castaways, and we had a very nice Motown style to us.”
Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters —
Education: Washington University and the University of Missouri
Career Highlights: A partner in the law firm of Kespohl, McCrary, & Cornejo.
Key Issues: Taxation Issues.
What People Don’t Know About You: Robert played college football at Washington University and never lost a conference game. He served as captain.
Keith English, D-Florissant — Hometown: Florissant
Education: Saint Louis University (graduated from the IBEW Joint Apprenticeship Training Center)
Political career highlight: Living his “lifetime dream of representing my constituents on a statewide level. … Taking public service to the next level.”
Key issue: Cutting fraud and representing both sides of the aisle.
What people don’t know about you: Cage fighter, number one hobby is gardening (flower pots and salsa ingredients).
Kimberly Gardner, D-St. Louis —
Education: B.S. in Health Care Administration from Harris Stowe University, Master’s in Nursing and her J.D. from St. Louis University.
Career Highlight: “Being here and being able to meet people that also want to help their citizens like I do.”
Key Issues: Medicaid expansion and education
What people don’t know: Gardner is a track runner, and the first and only African American woman to win first place in the state.
Ron Hicks, R – St. Peters —
Career Highlights: After being a business owner in California, he helped run his wife’s family company.
Key Issues: 2nd Amendment Issues and Economic Development.
What People Don’t Know About You: Hicks stars in professional hunting videos.
TJ McKenna, D-Festus —
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Mizzou.
Career Highlight: Winning by 89 votes out of 15,000 cast.
Key Issue: Transportation.
What People Don’t Know: “I’m the fourth generation of my family to serve in the legislature.”
Sue Meredith, D-St. Louis —
Hometown: Unincorporated St. Louis County
Education: B.S. Political Science and Masters in Legal Studies from Webster University
Career Highlight: “Getting elected to represent my hometown area.”
Key Issues: Health care
What people don’t know: “I am an awesome mom.”
Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis —
Hometown: Richmond Heights
Education: B.S. in Political Science and Philosophy from University of Missouri — St. Louis, J.D. from Washington University
Career Highlight: “Being here and being able to put talents to use to hopefully benefit others.”
Key Issues: Health care.
What people don’t know: “I’m a big movie buff and can quote many of them.”
Chrissy Sommer, R-St. Charles —
Hometown: St. Charles
Education: Associate’s degree in Business Administration from St. Louis Community College, bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Business Marketing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Political career highlight: “After winning a very close special election and then having a very successful primary and general in 2012, I think the highlights so far include being able to work in our beautiful Capitol, learning about the needs of my constituents as well as those around the state.”
Key issue: “HB162 Firearms Freedom Act, HB52 Joint Committee on the Tenth Amendment, HB54 CCW plus and HB528 Gifted Education Advisory Board. I am also concerned about Education issues, the Economy and issues that are important to my constituents and our State.”
What people don’t know about you: “I studied Art in College in addition to Business and that if I had more free time I would love to draw and paint and take photos more than I am able to do. Also that I adopt rescue animals and currently have 3 black labs, 1 cat and a chinchilla (who is at least 23 years old).”