Gina Mitten was part of a somber, monumental undertaking in the Missouri House when the legislative body looked into the allegations against the then-Governor of the Show-Me State.
As the ranking Democrat on the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, Mitten brought a steadiness to the work that was being done.
“Being a part of the Special Investigative Committee on Oversight’s work was a monumental and historical undertaking,” said Mitten. “As a Missourian, I think it was important that legislators on both sides of the aisle were able to work together to investigate the serious and troubling actions by former Governor [Eric] Greitens.”
She approached being a member of the committee with the aim to be nonpartisan. She noted that the somber job that needed to be done with the least amount of partisanship possible; that the committee members needed to approach it as working to do the right thing – not what was politically expedient.
“It was work that clearly needed to be done, and I believe that all members of the Committee conducted themselves in a manner that Missourians can be proud of,” said Mitten. “We did our work and all of us will move on to the next job.”
Some issues that popped up during Greitens tenure are on Mitten’s list of problems she would like to address. For her final term in the Missouri House, Mitten wants to look at strengthening campaign finance regulations and related laws in light of information gleaned by the Special Committee. She would also like to see a ban on the use of use of any confidential messaging application — like Confide — in light of its use not only by Greitens and his staff, but by staffers of other officeholders.
Mitten would also “ love to see criminal justice reform [and] another hard look at Medicaid expansion.”
As a high school dropout, Mitten worked hard to obtain an education. She worked by day, attended community college by night. She eventually went on the earn her Bachelor’s in 2001 and her Juris Doctor in 2005.
While going to school, working, and being a mother, Mitten found time to get involved in her community. In 2004, while still attending law school, Mitten was elected to represent District 3 on the Richmond Heights City Council. She was re-elected to the City Council in 2008 and again in 2012. In 2012 she was elected to her first term in the Missouri House. She went on the be re-elected in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Throughout everything she has done and accomplished, Mitten has learned life lessons to carry with her.
“Never forget where you came from and what your core values are. The amount of time we are honored to be legislators is short. Our families and our values are with us forever,” said Mitten.
This piece is featured as part of the Missouri Times’ Best of the Legislature 2018 appearing in the January 2019 Missouri Times Magazine.
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.