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Hanaway to head up transition team for congresswoman-elect Wagner

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 8, 2012 - Former Missouri state House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, a lawyer widely expected to re-enter politics as a candidate soon, has been tapped to head up the transition team for new U.S. Rep.-elect Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin.

In an announcement this morning, Wagner said that Hanaway and fellow lawyer Jeff Jensen will “assist in the organization of congressional offices in Missouri's new 2nd District and Washington, D.C.”

Hanaway will be the team chair, with Jensen as vice chair. Their tasks will include interviewing all applicants for various posts in Wagner’s official offices.

Wagner handily won election Tuesday to the region's 2nd District congressional seat, which had been held by fellow Republican Todd Akin, who lost to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

In a nod to Hanaway, the announcement notes that she “served as the first and only woman speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives from 2003 – 2005 and then served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri under President George W. Bush.”

Hanaway currently is a partner at the Ashcroft Hanaway Law Firm, founded by John Ashcroft, the former U.S. attorney general (and former governor and U.S. senator).

Wagner wrote that “Jensen served 10 years as an agent with the FBI in St. Louis and also 10 years as a federal prosecutor. He is now in private practice at the law firm Jensen, Bartlett & Schelp in St. Louis where he specializes in business litigation and corporate compliance.”

Hanaway was honored earlier this year by the state Republican Party and now sits on the Republican National Committee. She has acknowledged that she is interested in running for office again within a few years.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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