Kim Linhares’ decision to run for the Missouri House was spurred by the “epidemic of gun violence” in the Show-Me State and across the country.
“We know what will reduce the amount of gun violence: universal background checks, red flag laws, and doing away with permitless carry,” Linhares, a Democrat, told The Missouri Times. “I want to be there to make sure that Missouri does not pass any more harmful gun bills.”
But that is not the only issue drawing her attention. The Kirkwood resident is unhappy with several measures getting approval by the General Assembly — from banning abortion to attempting to repeal the Clean Missouri Amendment to “allowing big business to pollute our state.”
While not term-limited, Lavender has opted to run for the state Senate instead of seeking a fourth House term. She decided to throw her hat in the ring for SD 15, held by Republican Sen. Andrew Koenig.
Running to be part of the superminority in the legislature presents a unique set of challenges, Linhares noted.
“I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to step in right now?’ And, you know what, yes I do,” said Linhares. “Because we are such a superminority, now is when we need people to step up and say ‘No, this is wrong.’ I am willing to step up and add my voice to the minority party so that eventually we will not be the minority anymore.”
A graduate of St. Louis University, the mother of three has spent roughly a decade as an educator. Linhares has taught elementary and preschool, and spent time working with Parents as Teachers. She did take a teaching hiatus to raise her children.
“I want to run to show my children that when you are unhappy with the status quo and the injustices in the world, you have to do something. Instead of complaining about what is wrong, you have to do something about it,” Linhares said. “I want my children to know and all children to know that they have a future to invest in.”
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 email@example.com.