by Collin Reischman
Gresham describes himself as a “Redneck at heart.” He loves hunting and Tennessee football, and his wife, Ashley, who hails from Jefferson City just like him, although, they’ve lived in a variety of places. After graduating the Naval Academy in 1997 and getting married, Gresham spent time in Arizona and California, including 20 months as a Scout-Sniper Platoon Commander, before teaching at the University of Memphis as the Marine Office Instructor.
Gresham had a close relationship with the Blunt family, and when Matt Blunt was elected Governor, he took a job back home in Missouri. After working in Governor Blunt’s administration, Gresham went to work in the Senate for the Majority Caucus.
After working with Jefferson City local Mike Kehoe’s campaign for Senate, Gresham jokes that Kehoe “took sympathy” on him after the race and offered him a job as his Chief of Staff.
“The long and short of it is that this is home,” Gresham said. “Jeff City is home for me, my wife, our parents. God gave us an opportunity to get back here and provided a way for us to be able to stay here. It’s gravy when you get to work for good people, too.”
Gresham said his favorite quality of Kehoe’s is his “common sense” stance on the issues.
“Mike is not afraid to be blunt,” Gresham said. “You don’t have to be rude, and he isn’t, but he’s not afraid to call a spade a spade. Sometimes politicians don’t take stands, but Mike will come right out and be direct. I like that directness.”
Gresham said he was amazed by Kehoe’s ability to absorb information and apply it quickly and practically.
“His ability to hear things once, to remember them and then to apply them, it’s unique,” Gresham said. “And it’s a byproduct of his intellect and his real world experience.”
Gresham said he enjoys working on Veterans-related legislation because of his military background, as well as firearm and hunting legislation, as he describes himself as a passionate, though not terribly successful, outdoorsmen, noting “I would hunt every day if it wouldn’t cost me my job or my marriage.”
“There’s not a lot of work here I don’t like,” Gresham said. “Personally, I like to talk about issues of leadership and management. Specific politics like hunting and fishing, as well as issues of faith, which are important to me personally in my private life, and I hope it’s reflected in the way I conduct myself here.”
Ultimately, Gresham said he liked traditional, conservative issues, and that it was the basis of much of his work.
It’s not all hard work, though. He and his wife are active in their church, and Gresham speaks glowingly of his sons. Sports are a major focus, wrestling meets, and football are important, and on Saturday morning, when Tennessee football is on, the house “shuts down.”
When asked who he enjoyed working with in the Capitol, Gresham pointed to Todd Scott, Chief of Staff for Senator Tom Dempsey, who Gresham said, was “gracious, kind, and the kind of staffer you want to get to know.”
“In Todd there is no animosity or ill words, he’s always a complete gentlemen at all times. That’s a credit to him, because that doesn’t happen very often either.”