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Freshmen to Watch: Chris Sander

The Missouri Times is speaking to new lawmakers this session. Get to know more of the “Freshmen to Watch” here.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Sitting in Rep. Chris Sander’s new office is a 500-gram firework cake. 

Sander, a freshman representative from HD 33, is the owner and founder of Powder Monkey FIREWORKS, Inc. in Weldon Spring with locations also in Cape Girardeau, Kingdom City, and New Melle. And he brought part of his business with him to the Capitol as a reminder that he would like to be known for firework legislation. 

“Missouri was one of the states that have sold fireworks the longest,” Sander said. “It’s difficult right now, dealing with China, to get product. I would like to see some manufacturing of fireworks here in the United States, which doesn’t exist anymore. Missouri imports more fireworks than any place in the world.” 

Sander has not yet filed any bills pertaining to fireworks. 

Although he’s a Republican in the statehouse supermajority, Sander said as one of the few openly gay legislators, he sometimes feels like he is in the minority in the General Assembly. 

Sander attended a Lutheran School from kindergarten to 8th grade. His mother worked as a cook at the school in order to help with tuition. He went on to graduate from Hazelwood West High School and obtained a degree in business administration from the University of Missouri in 2005. 

Sander has sponsored HB 341, HB 342, HB 753, HB 847, HB 848, HB 1057, and HB 1115 but is particularly passionate about HB 848 which would permanently change daylight saving time to a new standard time. The bill was referred to the House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee Thursday. 

“I learned that there are 150 people in the federal government that manage time in the United States, and I thought that was something that’s not needed, and we can save that budget,” Sander said. 

Sander serves on the Downsizing State Government and Financial Institutions committees, as well as the Special Committee on Small Business. He lives in Lone Jack with his spouse, Blake Ulrich, and their Great Dane.