For several weeks, The Missouri Times has asked readers and friends who they thought should be featured in the best senate of the past 25 years – a fantasy team, if you will. Over 60 senators were submitted. After visiting with longtime observers of the chamber we came up with our list of 34 of its finest lawmakers in the last 25 years. It’s an eclectic list featuring men and women from the pre- and post term limit eras, and a combination of 34 Senators that no Speaker or Governor would envy having to battle.
Current senators were not eligible for the list. And because we couldn’t begin to put these folks in any numerical order, we will be releasing the list alphabetically over the next five days. The official senate portraits are included.
He had no friends, no allies and was still able to shut the place down and make everyone come running to him. Here is where we should probably close…but to quote Crowell when recognized to close – “no.” In the era of term limits the old friendship game was out the window and Crowell didn’t care. No one has been a bigger force in the senate since 2004 than him.
He was a very influential senator in the business sector and carried several big pieces of legislation dealing with business issues. He also was a very influential senator in education issues – charter schools in particular.
He was a huge presence in the senate who had a de facto veto on every piece of legislation that passed through the body during his time in the senate. He was also a key voice that helped hold off tort reform until after the party switch.
He was an eccentric senator who knew very well how to bring home state funds to his district. He was always an entertaining presence on the floor, and one politician whose name to this day is beloved by those in his community.
A senator whose election was a sign of the Republican takeover, she was able to change the party on several fronts. She may have blazed the trail of Republicans not being enemies of labor.
He was known as one of the most sincere public servants ever to serve in the body. He had a true commitment to children and education. The state’s view of both are vastly different for his service, and had unmatched honestly and integrity.