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Freshmen to Watch: Representative Doug Richey

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Doug Richey is already a pastor, law enforcement chaplain, and adjunct professor. Now, he’s added state representative to his resume.

“I decided to run out of a desire to steward my civic responsibilities,” Richey, a Republican representing the 38th district, told The Missouri Times. “I believe that we ought to be involved as we can be in light of how we’re wired and gifted and available. Looking at where I was at the time, what I enjoyed doing, and the needs that I saw, compelled me to step into the arena.”

Because of his time working in all three different jobs, Richey said he believes he has developed a strong likeness towards people both inside-and-out of the state legislature. As he continues his work as a representative, Richey hopes this can give him a better understanding of legislation and help build relationships with his fellow legislators as well.

“In each of those responsibilities, I’ve had to serve a broad audience, and I think that in each of those roles you learn to value people,” Richey said. “Spending as much time as I have in those respective roles, it has helped me to not only enjoy people, but to know how to interact with them in a way that is both respectful as well as respecting of the various limitations that we all have to deal with as to how we address the issues or concerns of the day. I think in each of those roles, and similarly, in this particular responsibility, you have to value people, you have to enjoy people, you also have to enjoy critical thinking and analytical work to have the wherewithal to arrive at a decision.”

“I have found that all that I have done throughout my life really has in many ways prepared me for this particular role,” he continued. “I’m grateful for that because it makes my being able to work within this position not only enjoyable but much more productive.”

“I have found that all that I have done throughout my life really has in many ways prepared me for this particular role.”

During session, Richey has found he is most proud of his work on the House Budget Committee. While he might have had a handle on the personal side of politics, Richey firmly believes the committee has helped him acquire a better grasp of state government as a whole, giving him insight on what legislation would serve the state and what issues need to be prioritized.

“I asked to serve on the budget committee because I believe if you want to understand all things state government, budget is where you need to go,” Richey said. “I have learned a lot serving on this first session in the budget committee. I think one way is just continuing to work within that budget context, to make sure that we are doing everything we can with the dollars that are available to meet the prioritized needs that the state has identified. I think that’s extremely important.”

Richey’s priorities in the legislature range from protecting constitutional liberties to public safety. But during this session his main focus has been on three bills in particular: HB 703, which would allow taxpayers to donate a portion of tax returns to the Kansas City Regional Law Enforcement Memorial Garden; HB 730, which modifies reimbursements for electronic monitoring; and HB 971, which seeks to protect infants born alive after a failed abortion procedure.

“I think that all of those three bills, each in their own right, are very important, and I’m excited to be a part of that process and have them cross the finish line,” Richey stated.