Freshmen to Watch: Rep. Dottie Bailey


With a background as a grassroots lobbyist, banker, and Tea Party member, freshman Rep. Dottie Bailey proves to be someone her constituents can rely on.

Already as a lawmaker, Bailey said she’s focused on bills that have been presented to her by constituents — including a reform bill on the guardian ad litem, Senate Bill 88, which was brought to her by a group of fathers.

“It’s in the Senate right now, and if it comes over to House, I will sponsor it,” Bailey said.

With the departure of incumbent-Rep. Kirk Matthews, Bailey was contacted to see if she would consider running in his place. Aware of her time in the political realm, the committee believed in her ability to represent the 110th district — especially after she’s spent so much time convincing others to run for office.

“I’ve always said to other people ‘I wish you would run and take up this office.’ So I kind of had to do what I’ve asked other people to do, and I’m very honored and humbled to do so,” Bailey said.

As she took office, Bailey knew she had to be knowledgeable of the mechanics of both the U.S. and Missouri governments. So Bailey pulled from influences from the likes of the Founding Fathers, and she believes she has a solid basis from which to work as a state representative.

“I’ve always been of the mind that it’s a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. We’re a republic,” Bailey said. “I’ve always been in that process at some level — never at this level — but I’ve been a grassroots lobbyist and a former Tea Party person. So I’ve been in the realm a lot, and I understand our founders and what they mean by a representative republic. That’s kind of why I’ve decided to do this. I’ve always been in it in some way, shape, or form.”

With her background in the political realm as well as in banking for about two decades, Bailey said she’s combined both aspects of her career in order to gain a better grasp on the kind of work she will tackle in office as well as navigating Capitol culture.

From her time in banking, Bailey said she learned about the free market and gave her the ability to be “business savvy,” she said.

“I’ve learned to get along with people — even people I don’t agree with. And obviously we don’t agree on everything, but we can still get along. I still respect the people on the other side of the aisle or even people in my own party that I don’t agree with. I can still respect them, and we can still have a debate without gouging each other’s eyes out. Business has taught me that a lot,” she said.

Her interests as a legislator include: free market issues, downsizing government, and truly helping those in need, she said. She’s also hesitant about issues regarding regulations or government spending.

“Our rights don’t come from government — they come from God — and our purpose as legislators is to secure those rights,” Bailey said. “All this regulation all the time, and all these fees pile up, and then we don’t have the money to pay for the things that we really need to pay for.”

Looking ahead, Bailey plans to take on archaic issues Missouri doesn’t need anymore, she said. Bailey hopes to throw away heavy regulations, allowing businesses to flourish.

Despite the demanding hours that being a representative entails, Bailey is proud of her work in office and is honored to have been chosen for the position. She aims to keep the needs of the people in the forefront of her mind as she grows as a lawmaker.

“They say it’s a part-time job, but it’s actually 24/7, 365 days a year. You really never stop, and I knew that going in,” Bailey said. “But when you’re here working with public policy, you realize the brevity of the responsibility you have. I think about that all the time.”

“I always try to take everybody’s opinions and thoughts and wants and needs into effect — not just my own,” she continued. “That’s why this is such an important job, and I just really appreciate it more than I did before. It’s a lot of responsibility which I’m very humbled to have.