The Democrat from HD 74 was appointed director of policy for St. Louis County, Executive Sam Page announced.
“Cora’s policy record is marked by collaboration and building a consensus with diverse colleagues,” Page said in a statement. “She will play a big role as we address the many challenges our region faces like crime and public safety, restoring trust in county government, and improving the business climate.”
Walker’s resignation is effective on Monday at 8 a.m. She will begin her work with the Page administration the same day.
“Representing the people of St. Louis County in Jefferson City has been rewarding and I’m grateful that residents trusted me to serve them,” Walker said in a statement. “But local government has so much more potential to improve the lives of our residents. Sam Page is tackling our region’s biggest problems, and I’m excited to join his administration.”
Walker was first elected to the General Assembly in 2016. An attorney, Walker has expertise in health law and public policy and sat on the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee as well as the House Children and Families Committee.
She holds a law degree from St. Louis University and a master’s degree in public health from Washington University. In 2018, she was honored with a Champion of Community Health Centers award by the Missouri Primary Care Association.
Rep. Bruce Franks, a Democrat who represented parts of St. Louis for more than three years, recently resigned as well. The activist-turned-lawmaker cited his mental health as his reason for leaving the legislature at the end of the month.
“I’ve fought many battles, but none greater than my ongoing struggle with anxiety and depression,” Franks said in an address to his colleagues in May. “This year, for the first time in my life, I decided to get help. After much reflection, I decided to prioritize my health and my family above my political ambition.”
Earlier this month, Franks announced in a Facebook post that he would be leaving St. Louis: “If I don’t make this move, St. Louis is going to kill me.”
“I love my city but I can’t heal from trauma and survive in the epicenter any longer,” he posted. “I’m not running away from it[;] I’m choosing to change my environment to be the best version of me. I’m making a selfish decision and it feels great.”
In her resignation letter, Walker asked Gov. Mike Parson to “call the earliest possible special election in a timely fashion.” A special election has not yet been scheduled for Franks’ seat.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in March 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.