1. What was your first campaign experience?
[For state representative.] I started knocking the first weekend in March and finished the night before the November election. In that time, I won a competitive primary election — which sent me to the [emergency room] for heat exhaustion — knocked on 18,000 doors, spent every dime of the $60,000 I raised, made more new friends than ever before and won the general election two days before my daughter was born. 2012 was memorable.
2. In what ways have you made a tangible effect on your constituents’ lives during the past legislative session?
More than any other issue, I wanted to see a Second Injury Fund bill pass into law. I had multiple members of my district owed benefits by the state of Missouri which had not paid them. Some had waited over a year with no income to fall back on. So, having input into, and offer amendments onto, the SIF bill that made it through the House, and was signed into law, was probably the most tangible impact I had for my constituents in my first term.
3. Who from the opposing party do you most respect? And your own party?
Chris Kelly. No one presents a more compelling argument for their position than the senior representative from Boone. The Capitol will miss his experience and charisma more than any single other voice.
In my own party, I think Todd Richardson and Kevin Engler are the strongest advocates for our caucus.
4. What was your dream job growing up?
Third basemen in the Major Leagues. If the New York Yankees had just passed on A-Rod and signed me in 2004, they would be saving about $20 million a year and a lot of headaches.
5. What do you most enjoy about the interim?
Playing with my kids every night. During session, my two-and-a-half year old son was using music to learn vocabulary. He actually created a song where the last verse ended with, “…and daddy comes home on Thursday.” Talk about a punch to the stomach. Being able to see him, and my nine-month-old daughter, every night is the best part of interim.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.