Having just sat down to my last day in state service, I finally have a moment to reflect on the last six years. When Dave Schatz, then a state representative with a reputation for a temper, hired me in December 2014, I had no idea what to expect. I was just coming off a tough year fighting for “Right to Farm,” and I knew Senator-elect Schatz was pro-ag and conservative so I thought we’d be a good fit.
What I did not know is that Dave would be the best boss I have had. I have worked for boards, consultants, fundraisers, and staffers. I have worked in warehouses and on farms and had bosses from good to awful — but Dave Schatz is the best boss I have had in this crazy business. I want to say thank you to Dave for teaching me more about policy, leadership, perseverance, and deal-making than I knew I could learn.
I wish more of us would see legislators as people and not just as politicians all the time. They are not the 30-second soundbite from that one time they were in a heated debate about libraries (yes, this happened). They are not a caricature from a glossy mail piece. They are people who largely have the same goals as you and I — they want a better future for their children and grandchildren and they generally follow the “Golden Rule.” That’s the kind of person I got to know over the last six years — a person, not a politician.
It makes me feel a little better about Missouri that a person like that can ascend to leadership in our state legislature.
Sen. Dave Schatz was recently unanimously re-elected by the Majority Caucus to serve as the President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate, and I hope readers understand the office of President Pro Tem isn’t just occupied by a politician — it is led by a good person.
Dan Kleinsorge is the executive director of the Missouri Limestone Producers Association.