Bram Sable-Smith talked to 17 young politicians about their experiences and why they got into politics. Read his accompanying story here, or watch the videos below.
Patrick Brown, 28, interned and eventually took a staff position on Margaret Donnelly’s 2008 campaign for attorney general before joining Mayor Francis Slay’s 2009 re-election campaign. He joined Mayor Slay’s staff in 2009 and currently serves as a special assistant to the Mayor.
Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, 27, worked in Jefferson City for former Missouri State Rep. Mary Still and former Missouri State Senator Robin Wright-Jones before being elected representative of the 63rd District, his home district, in 2012.
Shane Cohn, D-25th Ward, 33, was elected Alderman in 2009, winning a four-way democratic primary and running unopposed in the general election. Cohn was re-elected in 2013.
Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, 30, was elected in 2012 to represent Missouri’s 64th District that includes parts of St. Charles and Lincoln counties.
Maggie Crane, 31, left a career in television journalism that included stints at KMOV, as well as in St. Joseph, MO and Fort Meyers, FL, to become the communications director for Mayor Francis Slay during in February 2013.
Courtney Curtis, D-Berkeley, 32, was elected in 2012 to represent the 73rd District after beating opponent Doug Clemens in a Democratic primary.
Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, 32, served for 10 years as a US Marine—four years in active service and six years as a reserve—before being elected representative of Missouri’s 105th District in 2010. In 2012, following redistricting, Curtman was elected representative of the 109th District.
Charles Hinderliter, 34, is a political scientist who has worked on campaigns on a local, state, and national level. Since 2012 he has been the political director of Friends of Diehl, running Rep. John Diehl’s successful reelection campaign, and races for 2012 majority floor leader, and 2013 Speaker of the House.
Christine Ingrassia, D-6th Ward, 38, won a three-way race in 2013 to finish the term of former Alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett, for whom Ingrassia worked as the director of community outreach in the 6th Ward.
Tishaura Jones, St. Louis Treasurer, 41, was appointed Democratic committeewoman of the 8th Ward in 2002, and was elected representative of the 63rd District in 2008. She served as the Missouri House assistant minority floor leader from 2009-2012. In 2012, she was elected treasurer of the City of St. Louis.
Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, 31, was first elected to represent Missouri’s 88th district in 2008 and reelected in 2010. Following redistricting, Koenig won election in the 99th district in 2012. He is chairman of the Ways and Means committee.
Molly McCann, 25, is executive director of Missouri Roundtable for Life and executive vice-president of the St. Louis Young Republicans. In 2012 McCann worked as a field director on Todd Akin’s US Senate campaign and on the staff of Fred Sauer’s gubernatorial campaign.
Scott Ogilvie, I-24th Ward, 33, was elected in 2009 as an Independent, defeating former Alderman Tom Bauer who himself had defeated then incumbent Bill Waterhouse in the Democratic primary.
Joshua Peters, D-St. Louis, 26, interned in the Missouri House, and worked as a legislative assistant and office manager to US Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, before being appointed as a confidential assistant in the US Department of Education. In April 2013 he won a special election to replace the seat vacated in the 76th district by Chris Carter, D-27th Ward.
Mary Ellen Ponder, 33, worked as a lobbyist and on several campaigns before joining Mayor Francis Slay’s re-election campaign staff in December 2008. She worked as a special assistant to Mayor Slay beginning in 2009 and ran his 2013 re-election campaign. She now serves as deputy chief of staff to the Mayor.
Michael Powers, 29, was appointed legislative director to the president of the Board of Aldermen in 2013 after serving for three years as neighborhood improvement specialist in the 21st Ward.
Michelle Witthaus, 36, finished third in voting for 6th Ward Alderman in March, running on a platform to introduce participatory budgeting on the ward. Following the election, Witthaus teamed with former opponent Christine Ingrassia, D-6th Ward, to pilot participatory budgeting in the ward.