JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The stylish and witty Scott Pearson has been a regular presence in the Capitol for a few years now and he plans to stick around. Like many of the 20-something crowd of staffers, Pearson got his start in grassroots political activism and plans to continue to apply his political and policy involvement towards his career.
“In 2009, I became the president of the Drury College Republicans,” Pearson said. “I began attending local GOP meetings in Springfield, through that I met Lincoln Hough. In 2010, he was running for his first term; we spent that summer knocking doors. I finished graduate school in the fall of 2011 and wasn’t sure what I was going to do; I reached out to my college friend, Levi Mitchell. He was Rep. Thomas Long’s Legislative Assistant but had left to pursue a new opportunity. Fortunately, Rep. Long hired me for the 2012 session after recommendations from Rep. Hough and Levi along with several meetings with him.”
Currently, Pearson is the legislative assistant for Rep. Kevin Austen (R-Springfield).
“I spent the summer of 2012 working on Rep. Long’s re-election in addition to helping the Steelman for Senate campaign,” Pearson said. “Unfortunately, both lost their primaries which meant I would be out of a job at the end of the year. Rep. Hough had a tight general election so I went back to campaigning for him. Once the general was over, I called Kevin. We met, talked things over, and he hired me. This will be our third session working together.”
Pearson’s political activism remains strong. He regularly assists The J. Harris Company, one of the state’s leading political consulting firms, with campaigns in special projects and events coordination.
“This past fall, James [Harris] was one of the lead consultants to defeat Amendment 3,” Pearson said. “I was the southwest field director for the Campaign to Protect Our Local Schools. We defeated the amendment quite handily with over a million people voting no.”
A career in politics is perhaps perfect for the social staffer, who wholeheartedly admits that he enjoys everything the political life offers.
“I love traveling, learning and socializing,” Pearson said. “I’m blessed with a great group of friends that are scattered across the U.S. I have a blast visiting and exploring the areas in which they live. I’m definitely a sucker for spontaneous road trips and various adventures.”
The bow tie and cravat-donning loyal politico is wholly open to where his gigs may take him. Pearson says politics and policy are of equal importance to him.
“I hope to still be working in the building in some capacity. Eventually, I would like to lobby. I have learned over the years flexibility, willingness to learn, and timing play major roles in one’s career. So, I’m keeping my plan open.”
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.