Leslie Korte has used her skills and talents for the public good throughout her career, just not in a very public way. She has worked on for the government on the state and federal level and worked in all three branches of state government.
Currently, she serves as chief of staff to House Floor Leader Rob Vescovo.
“I like being in a position to make sure that laws are written correctly. And that we are passing laws that are good for the state,” said Korte. “I can be behind the scenes and say ‘this is a good idea’ or maybe ‘write it this way’ or ‘this is the unintended consequence’ and help them do what they were elected to do. I can help get the things done.”
As much as she enjoys being in a position to help better the state, Korte never plans to run for public office. She doesn’t like being a public person, she doesn’t like being in the spotlight, she doesn’t like the scrutiny public officials face, and she has no desire to be away from her family and her children.
Korte grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, before moving to Iowa to attend Drake University. After graduating college early, she worked for the Iowa State Treasurer for a year. She then went to law school, which she finished by the time she hit 24-years-old. Out of law school, she started clerking for a federal district court judge.
She and her husband moved to Columbia, Missouri, and in 2010 Korte started working for House research. She worked for the Missouri Supreme Court for a short stint before coming back to the General Assembly to work for Vescovo. And in between all that she had two children.
“For me, I have always felt a calling to be a public servant. And I feel like this job really puts me in a position to be able to use my skills for the betterment of the state,” said Korte.
In her role as chief of staff to Vescovo, her days as packed, particularly when the General Assembly is in session.
According to Korte, a typical day starts with Vescovo and his staff meeting in the office and running through that day’s agenda.
They come up with a plan for the floor; determine what should to be accomplished in the morning, what should to be accomplished in the afternoon, and want they want to accomplish if they do an evening session. They run through bills and meet with members of the House.
Throughout the day, Korte helps members, reads through legislation and amendments, and talks with lobbyists. When the House is in session, Korte can be seen on the floor, helping Vescovo and other members.
Through the hecticness that is session, she works to make sure they are staying on by staying organized.
“I try to make sure that we do what we say we are going to do…and that we don’t waste time,” said Korte.
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 was a reporter for The Missouri Times and The 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.