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30 Under 30

No legislators, no journalists, the 2016 30 Under 30 is compiled of staff from firms, companies, offices and departments gaining experience to shape the next generation of politics.

schweitzer.pngAnne Schweitzer

Senior Associate with Public Eye STL


Schweitzer is one of the top political professionals in St. Louis who has also recently worked with Hillary Clinton’s presidential effort. She frequents the media rounds and is set to be a major player in the upcoming St. Louis mayoral election. Working alongside Richard Callow, she is set to be a major force in both city and Democratic politics for decades.

zumstegAlex Zumsteg

Chief of Staff to Senator Kurt Schaefer


After working in the House, she stepped into the one of the toughest jobs in state government this year as chief of staff to the Senate appropriations chair who constantly makes headlines. Moreover, she took over for Schaefer’s long time chief of staff, Yancy Williams, during the middle of a statewide campaign. With the budget being done early, and in time to override any withholds, she has earned a job well done and a resume line she can tout the rest of her career.

lattyAmanda Latty

Finance Director for the Missouri Democratic Party


Under the umbrella of MDP Finance Director, Latty also assists with fundraising efforts for the House & Senate Caucuses, as well as Democratic legislative candidates across the state. During Party Executive Director Crystal Brinkley’s leave of absence working as State Director for the Hillary Clinton Campaign in Missouri, Latty proved she’s more than capable of juggling a full plate. With her strong work ethic and ability to work well with both the Democratic statewides and caucuses, Latty is a rising star in Missouri Democratic Party circles.

lohmannBecky Lohmann

Lobbyist with Catalyst Group


While she was going to Mizzou Law, Lohmann wanted to get coffee with the principal of Catalyst, Danny Pfeifer, to learn more about being a lobbyist. That meeting was interrupted by an urgent call to Pfeifer to head back over to the Capitol. After heading over with him, Lohmann never left the building. She is at the top of a rising group of young female lobbyists and is someone who is now being asked for by top clients to work on their issues.

lawrence.pngBlake Lawrence

Chief Counsel to Senator Jamilah Nasheed


An attorney, Lawrence is one of the most engaged staffers in the Senate and has proven to be on top of every issue the Senator engages. He is a go-to person in the Capitol and will likely be part of the Senator’s political operation in the fall. He would be a major factor if she choose to run for mayor of St. Louis. But, all of that is contingent on whether he continues to rebuff the recruitment of him to run for office himself.

brittany wagnerBrittany Wagner

Grassroots Director for the Missouri Republican Party


Wagner came to the Party from the Show-Me Institute and is one of the most talented young people involved in politics today. Her organizational skills are top notch, and many Republicans have been impressed by her political instincts.

greenBrad Green

Lobbyist for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce


Green is a long time Senate staffer with a long list of connections in the Senate. He had been recruited for several jobs in lobbying before Dan Mehan and Tracy King landed him for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. His experience in Senate leadership and knowledge of public policy makes him a lobbyist to watch.

alexanderBrandon Alexander

Digital Campaign Manager with Victory Enterprises


Alexander previously worked in the House, meeting and impressing the large Republican caucus. Now he puts those relationships and knowledge to use managing digital campaigns alongside Joe Lakin with Victory Enterprises. Next time you see a dramatic improvement in a Republican’s social media presence, chances are Alexander just picked up a new client.

payneBraxton Payne

Director of Digital Media Communications with the The Kelley Group


Payne is a rising star, not only amongst Missouri Democrats, but in the corporate world as well. He has been with The Kelley Group for several political campaigns and his work on social media is seen in many issue and corporate campaigns as well. He is at the top of many lists of young Democratic talent and has one of the brightest futures of anyone on this list.

burnsCasey Burns

Political Director House Republican Campaign Committee


Burns’ stock has been skyrocketing since the 2014 elections. She built a solid reputation working on the House staff of several legislators and the work was rewarded with a promotion to political director of the HRCC. She is in a major role working to protect a supermajority for the first time without Barack Obama on the ballot. HRCC has been the springboard to many of the top Republican operatives in politics today, and that trend looks likely to continue with Burns.

berry.pngDave Berry

Lobbyist with the Gate Way Group


Berry has quickly become a key member of the Gate Way Group. Working under David Jackson, he has vaulted up the lobbying corps to be a key lobbyist on several of the hottest issues both in the Capitol and out. Berry is set to be a major force heading forward as the Gateway Group continues to grow.

willisDavid Willis

Chief of Staff to House Speaker Todd Richardson


Willis is someone who actively works to stay out of the media, but he is one of the most knowledgeable and prominent players in Missouri public policy. Willis is liked by most, but has near universal respect in a field where that typically doesn’t exist. He has experience working on the House budget, working for the floor leader, and as one of the most influential chiefs of staff in recent history.

dampfDrew Dampf

Staff of State Senator Mike Kehoe


Dampf is a key staff member in one of the most important and challenging offices in state government: Senate majority leader. Dampf is a person many people in the Capitol have come to rely on as an honest and hardworking person when working with the floor leader’s office. He will be highly sought after in government, lobbying, and political circles after his impressive 2016 session.

baxGreta Bax

Chief of Staff for the House Democratic Caucus


Bax has quickly become a key person directing legislative strategy. She quickly earned the confidence of the caucus and is now someone both sides of the aisle seek out to work with on legislation. The Minority Leader is a very challenging job, but working with Rep. Mike Talboy and now Rep. Jacob Hummel, she has become a standout in the House and will be someone sought out by legislative and statewide Democrats.

bardgettJacque Bardgett

Lobbyist with John Bardgett & Associates


Bardgett has quickly developed a reputation as one of the hardest working and honest lobbyists in the Capitol. Working with John Bardgett and Associates, she works directly with many the largest corporations in the state. Her work has seen her step out of her father’s large shadow and is on track to become one of the top lobbyists in Missouri.

ratliffJonathan Ratliff

Vice President of Operations with Barklage & Knodell


Ratliff has been involved in running as many successful campaigns as anyone in Missouri the past several cycles. Working as the political director for HRCC, majorities have continually grown to a high water mark of 117 after 2014. This cycle, he has left HRCC and is now consulting on some of the top races in the state including the top state Senate race, leading the Rowden campaign.

gaskinJohn Gaskin

NAACP Freedom Fund Leadership Dinner Chair


Gaskin is the youngest national NAACP board member in history and was very active during the Ferguson unrest, frequently appearing on CNN among other national outlets. He is a mover and shaker in both business and political circles and someone to watch in the future as he is adept at collecting friends and impressing people.

fosterJosh Foster

Chief of Staff to Senator Ed Emery


Serving as Senator Emery’s chief of staff has put Josh in connection with conservative groups throughout the state, and his work in St. Louis County has made him a go-to person in one of the few true swing areas in Missouri. He has been rumored to have been recruited for positions in lobbying, political consulting and to run for office. Whatever he chooses to do next, he will be impactful.

robinsonKelsey Robinson

Lobbyist with Steve Carroll & Associates


Kelsey has very naturally taken to lobbying and is already a fixture in hearings and in the rotunda. She has developed tremendous relationships with a wide array of legislators who trust her on issues with which she gets involved. Working with Steve Carroll, she has gotten the benefit of learning about the process from a professional, and her influence will only grow each session.

AubuchonKyle Aubuchon

Chief of Staff to Senator Doug Libla


After serving as campaign manager, he now has been Sen. Doug Libla’s chief of staff for four sessions. Working for Libla has put him at the forefront of issues from energy to transportation. He has also won praise for his work for the Party during the 2014 election cycle. Look for Kyle as an operative to watch in 2016.

benoistMichael James Benoist

Legislative Director for the Department of Labor


Benoist was a leading Democratic talent working in the House and then for Secretary of State Jason Kander before being hired as the legislative director for the Department of Labor. With the current legislature, he is now in one of the toughest jobs in the Capitol and has brought to the job his vast connections and the respect he garners with both Republicans and Democrats. Benoist is poised to be a major player in either government or Democratic politics in the future.

silvaPatricia Silva

Attorney at Lathrop and Gage


Silva is a prominent young lawyer with Lathrop and Gage, and she is gaining respect in Republican circles in St. Louis. A graduate of Georgetown and Yale, her mother is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the most senior U.S. Representative from Florida, so politics seems be be in her genes.  Look for her to become a leading Republican voice hailing from a firm with two likely statewide officeholders.

arnzen.pngPhillip Arnzen

Campaign Manager for Rick Stream for Senate


Arnzen has floated around Republican campaigns, starting when he was in college. He loyally returns to Kurt Schaefer’s campaign again after helping nail down re-election, this time for an attorney general run, while also heading Rick Stream’s bid for Senate. It doesn’t look like his determination or loyalty will fade any time soon.

hullQuintin Hull

Lobbyist at the Giddens Group


Hull joined a lobbying group rife with experience to learn from, making him an up-and-comer. He gained experience volunteering on Gov. Jay Nixon’s campaign, amongst others, before making his way into the Capitol. He’s gaining popularity and developing an excellent reputation as an approachable and knowledgeable lobbyist.

klarichRachael Klarich

Lobbyist with the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys


Klarich works as a lobbyist with MATA, leading a program that brings members to the Capitol and connects members and legislators back in their districts. Her father David Klarich has been a fixture in the Capitol for years, and that family tradition seems to be continuing with Klarich.

clearwaterRyan Clearwater

Legislator Assistant for Reps. Jay Barnes and Paul Curtman


Clearwater started his political career with the GOP before going to the Capitol to work for former Rep. Casey Guernsey. Upon Guernsey’s departure, he gained more grassroots experience working for the influential Cattlemen’s Association before returning back to the Capitol to work for Reps. Jay Barnes and Paul Curtman. A great attitude and smarts is a combination that will keep Clearwater in demand.

hallSamantha Hall

Legislative Research Associate at the Department of Higher Education


A Missouri girl through and through, Hall quickly bumped from intern to legislative assistant before going on to the Department of Agriculture and now is a constant figure in education hearings. She will constantly have professional interest, as demand for a knowledgeable and resourceful person with both executive and legislative experience will persist.

rigger.pngShawn Rigger

Lobbyist with Strategic Capitol Consulting


Rigger has taken to lobbying very naturally, joining a growing firm and quickly building his presence as a passionate and knowledgeable advocate for his clients. Working under leading lobbyist Steve Tilley, he has been deeply involved in some of the most contentious fights in the Capitol this session. As a graduate of the University of Florida Law School, he also brings a unique perspective to issues and is on track to become a force in the Capitol for Strategic.

brunnertZach Brunnert

Lobbyist with Flotron and McIntosh


Brunnert is excelling in his work with Flotron and McIntosh, being blessed by learning from lobbyist emeritus former Sen. Larry Rohrbach. He is a fixture at budget committee hearings and is someone who works year round developing legislation and establishing relationships in the off-session months. Brunnert will be one to watch as a leading lobbyist in a growing firm that provides him the platform to grow his influence with each session.

sweetsZac Sweets

Legislative Director to Senator Jason Holsman


Sweets is a natural leader, from his high school president to governor of Boys State to president of his college fraternity, and student Senator at the University of Missouri where he joined the same secret society that inducted U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. His consistency and determination to learn will keep all doors open as Sweets advances in his career.