JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Ryan Nonnemaker, former Senate Majority Caucus communications director and current policy director, has stepped down from his position to take a job working in grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.
Nonnemaker, 32, soon will begin working as state director for GoRail in Missouri. GoRail is a national organization that advocates for the use of rail transportation in shipping.
“I’ll be doing some advocacy, but also a lot of grassroots work,” Nonnemaker told The Missouri Times. “It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m very pleased to have the chance.”
While Nonnemaker looks forward to the work, he admits his primary reason for leaving the Senate and moving back to Kansas City full time is more about one thing than anything else: family. Nonnemaker is marrying his fiancé on August 17 and that, he said, motivated him to move back.
“I loved my work with the caucus and I was honored to do it,” Nonnemaker said. “But when a chance arises to go back home, to be with your family and most of all spend time with your new wife, you don’t pass that up.”
According to his coworkers, Nonnemaker will be missed.
Todd Scott, Chief of Staff and general counsel to Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said Nonnemaker is “incredibly competent” on some of the most difficult issues the Senate deals with.
“He’s handled some very hard issues, like pensions, which are not easy things to handle,” Scott said. “And he always did it very well, with great competence, and he worked very well with other members of the staff, he will be very missed around here.”
Scott said Nonnemaker’s replacement would be hired in a few weeks to give the person ample time to prep for the job before the session in January, but wouldn’t state definitively if the new policy director will come from within the current staff, or as an outside hire.
Nonnemaker said he was “honored and thrilled,” to have worked for the caucus and that he was happy to have worked on some of their biggest issues, like the tax cut bill. He said he hopes to continue his career in advocacy and will be “closely” following his former colleagues in the Senate.