“I want to work hard and stay busy. But I don’t want to be at the tip of the spear,” Rep. Dean Plocher said. Plocher is in his first full term of being State Representative for the 89th District and has served three years in the Missouri House, being elected in a special election.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Plocher has always felt that St. Louis is home. Plocher went away for college to study Political Science at Middlebury College in Vermont. After graduating college, he was offered a job on the west coast which he did for two years. However, he could not see himself being there long term. “I wanted to challenge myself and have other options,” he said.
Moving forward, he worked in the financial management industry. “It was clear that you either had to get your MBA or an advanced degree. Being practical, I saw that you could practice business with a law degree, but you can’t practice law with a business degree.”
“I think long-term, owning my own company in some capacity would be something I’ve always had interest in. I don’t know what that would be, but I decided to go to law school. And that was challenging and fun.” He now practices attorney and manages is own law firm, The Plocher Law Firm, in Clayton.
Plocher attended St. Louis University School of Law and received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1997. “Some advice was given to me: you need to go to law school where you would like to live. And St. Louis was clear as the first choice.”
Plocher decided to get into politics because of his children. “I enjoy politics, I enjoy history, I enjoy how the communities develop and how they evolve. But following what has been developing the last decade or so, it prompted me to get involved with my family.”
Plocher is most proud of his family. “Family is something that clearly takes the most time. Your heart is in it all the time. It is also the most rewarding. Definitely my family, my wife and my two kids.”
Plocher and his wife have an 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. In their free time, the Plocher Family attends their children’s soccer, baseball, and basketball games. “I also enjoy taking them fishing, fly fishing in particular.” The family is always out doing something. Whether it is recreational or related to Plocher’s job, they love to get outside and get moving.
“They, fortunately, embraced this political job that takes up not just a regular workday but often involves the weekends and things like that. They’ve been great helps and assets in terms of their willingness to participate,” said Plocher about his son and daughter.
Plocher never really thought that he would get into politics at this level. “I always followed politics. More particularly, more international relations, trades, things like that. State politics became much more interesting about 10 or 15 years ago. I started easing into it. I have only held this position one full term and so now state politics has taken on a greater role in my life and challenges.”
“In terms of what I do next, I’m a lawyer with my own practice. I enjoy that. I always want to keep opportunities and options open while I can find a role to serve.” Plocher said that he just wants to have a place at the table where he can be a participant. “It’s 163 members, not just one party.”
While in state politics, Plocher doesn’t think that anything has come out of the blue or caught him off guard that he didn’t expect to have happened and it has been an all-encompassing endeavor that he has enjoyed. “With regard to this political career that I have, I don’t really view myself as a politician. The time commitment and the dedication of all the members of the house is significant. I knew that going in it would be one hell of a commitment. It has certainly lived up to that expectation and often exceeded that because of the different roles that we are expected to play. We have our role as representative, there’s a carrying legislator on the floor and working with the Senate. And that is also predominantly built upon relationships. And then the role as the rep. trying to get re-elected, and that is multifaceted as well, for better and worse.”
Just like in earlier years, Plocher is still interested in the development and evolution of communities. In recent years, he has been watching the evolution of the house as it has become more rural. He believes that the challenges that St. Louis will face will also involve being rural in order to form and establish relationships with everyone.
This appeared in the fall 2018 edition of the Missouri Times Magazine, available in Jefferson City at the Capitol, Tolson’s, Cork, and J. Pfenny’s, and online here.