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Five questions with Rep. Elaine Gannon, R-DeSoto


1. What was your first campaign experience?

My first campaign experience was attending a function for Paul Wieland in Imperial. I felt totally lost when I got there because I didn’t really know Paul and I met several politicians that evening. I was very nervous but everyone was very kind to me. I ended up having a great experience. I had already made it known that I had filed in Jefferson City.

2. In what ways have you made a tangible effect on your constituents’ lives during the past legislative session?

Rep. Elaine Gannon
Rep. Elaine Gannon

I think I have made an effect on education. I served on the education committee and took votes that represented the schools in my district and the administrators, the teachers and the employees of the districts were very pleased and complimentary with the way I voted. They were happy with the decisions I made on the education votes.

3. Who from the opposing party do you most respect? And your own party?

I would say from the Democrats, Genise Montecillo. Genise really comes to mind because we serve on two committees together and she was very knowledgeable when she spoke in committee and she was very passionate about the issues that were of major concern to her. She spoke for the things that she felt were right. We didn’t maybe agree on certain things but we did become friends, mainly through the education committee. She was very kind to me considering I was a freshman and she was very helpful. There’s a lot of good people from the opposing party.

From my party, I would say Kevin Engler. He was instrumental in me running. He’s very seasoned and knowledgeable on just about every issue. I respect his knowledge. If there’s a bill or an issue that I’m not sure about, he’s the first person I talk to about it. When Kevin stands to talk, everybody listens.

4. What was your dream job growing up?

I always knew I wanted to be a P.E. teacher. That’s what I was for 32 years. I never thought of anything else. Going through middle school and high school, the gym was my comfort zone. If I ever dreamed about doing anything, it would be P.E. teacher and coach. I coached volleyball and gymnastics.

5. What do you most enjoy about the interim?

Number one, being with my family every day. Number two, is I’ve had the opportunity to take a lot of really wonderful tours. I went down and toured Brushy Creek, which is a lead mine and we went 1,000 feet underground. That was amazing to me.