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Meet Your Missouri Legislators

Get to know your newly elected Missouri legislators and learn about their priorities for the 2023 legislative session! 

Gary Bonacker

Missouri District #111, Republican

What do you believe the biggest challenges facing rural Missourians are? 

  • Reliable internet access​

  • Attracting businesses to the state, particularly those in the manufacturing industry

What should the state and federal government be doing to establish and maintain strong energy security in Missouri?

  • Missouri needs a centrally-located, easily accessible airport to continue to attract businesses to the state. 

  • Would like to see funding obtained and directed to where it can do the most good. 

What makes the state of Missouri special to you?

  • "I am part of an old Family Farm that has been in the County since 1832 at least. I serve on my School BOE and have had to resign from the JCSWCD Board. I am old enough to see the changes that Progress brings with it and I hope to help smooth out Progress!! "

Adrian Plank

Missouri District #47, Democrat

Give us a brief introduction of yourself, what district you represent, and a brief description of the characteristics of your district. 

 

  • My name is Adrian Plank and I represent the 47th house district of Missouri, which compromises much of northwestern and central Boone County. The 47th is actually one of the most rural districts held by a member of the Democratic Caucus. It’s compromised of much of the City of Columbia’s 4th Ward and the cities of Rocheport, Harrisburg, Sturgeon, and a few other small towns.

 

What are the biggest challenges your district faces and how do you hope to address those issues?

 

  • The district is heavily dependent on Agriculture and is also in need of a lot of infrastructure development. As a member of the Agriculture Policy committee, the Workforce & Infrastructure Committee, and the Rural Community Development Committee I hope to represent my district as best as possible and advocate for the people who elected me.

 

What should the state and federal government be doing to establish and maintain strong energy security in Missouri?

 

  • I am a firm believer of green energy policies and I believe that the state should be actively transitioning to these policies. I have actually put forth a bill, HB 1079, that would increase the state’s green energy portfolio quite noticeable over time.

 

Are you satisfied with the progress being made to expand broadband across Missouri?

 

  • While any progress is better than nothing, to be honest, no. Missourians deserve quality and reliable internet and broadband and they deserve it now. A large priority for my office has been to coordinate with the city of Rocheport to try and help them get reliable signal and internet brought to their town.

 

What makes the state of Missouri special to you?

 

  • Missouri is a special place, not just because I am from here, but because of the people. We have amazing cities in our state and so much potential.

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Give us a brief introduction of yourself, what district you represent, and a brief description of the characteristics of your district. 

  • I am married to my wife of 26 years, Amy.We have a son, Donnie Ray who is currently in college, and a daughter Annemarie, who has gone to be with the Lord.I am a registered professional engineer and I serve as the engineer for New Madrid County, where I have spent my 28 year career.I am blessed to serve District 149.District 149 is a very rural district in Southeast Missouri made up of Mississippi, New Madrid and Pemiscot Counties. Agriculture is the leading industry and we have a very high rate of poverty down in the Bootheel of Missouri.

 

What are the biggest challenges your district faces and how do you hope to address those issues?

 

  • We face 3 major issues: Lack of good paying jobs, Lack of good technical training and a shortage of affordable housing. We began a strong economic development push about 15 years ago and are beginning to see the fruits of our labor in this area. We have some new industry moving into our region which will help with our job problem. There has also been a push with our high school technical skill programs and our junior college to begin training our young people to fill these positions. We also have an effort started to rebuild our small communities and build some starter homes for these young people to move into. As state representative, I hope to continue to support these local efforts and hope to take them to the next level.

 

What should the state and federal government be doing to establish and maintain strong energy security in Missouri?

 

  • In many ways I think the best thing government can do sometimes is get out of the way. We cannot put all our eggs in one basket, so to speak. We need a mixture of energy sources including, coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, solar and wind, to have true energy security. Unfortunately partisan politics seek to wipe out certain sectors of this overall picture, which will only hurt the citizens of Missouri.

 

Are you satisfied with the progress being made to expand broadband across Missouri?

 

  • I am satisfied with the progress being made in our area. We are very rural, which poses a huge challenge for broadband. Our Rural Electric Cooperatives have really stepped up and taken the lead to provide what our residents need.

 

What makes the state of Missouri special to you?

 

  • The huge amount of diversity we have in people, geography, industry, etc…There is truly something for everyone in the State of Missouri. All you have to do is jump in your car and make a short drive to enjoy it. I can’t think of anywhere else I would want to call home.

Donnie Brown

Missouri District #149, Republican

Rusty Black

Missouri Senate District #12, Republican

Give us a brief introduction of yourself, what district you represent, and a brief description of the characteristics of your district. 

  • My name is Rusty Black, I live in Chillicothe, Missouri with my wife Karie and together we have four children. I represent the 12 th Senatorial District which is truly a rural district that is made up of 19 counties (Andrew, Atchison, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Clinton, Daviess, Dekalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Sullivan, Worth and part of Buchanan County). Prior to being elected to the Missouri Senate I spent 3 terms in the Missouri House of Representatives and 33 years of my life as an Agriculture Educator before retiring in 2016. I attended the University of Missouri and graduated with a Masters in Agriculture Education in 1993.

 

What are the biggest challenges your district faces and how do you hope to address those issues?

 

  • Being a truly rural district, SD 12’s issues are different than a majority of the other districts in the State. Access to broadband, funding for roads, and protecting property rights are issues that I hope to take on during my tenure in the Senate.

  • Being a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee allows me to focus on funding for infrastructure and make sure that the Northwest part of the state is not forgot. I also have introduced legislation to protect landowners from eminent domain when new transmission lines are being constructed.

What should the state and federal government be doing to establish and maintain strong energy security in Missouri?

 

  • I believe that expanding nuclear energy should be expanded nationwide.

 

Are you satisfied with the progress being made to expand broadband across Missouri?

 

  • I am. I believe that the Office of Broadband Development is working well. We all hope that broadband can be expanded at a faster rate, but it is not an easy task.

 

What makes the state of Missouri special to you?

 

  • Missouri is a state that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The state is home to spectacular landscapes such as the vast farmland, the Ozark Mountains, the Missouri & Mississippi Rivers, and the Mark Twain National Forest. The state’s cities also offer a wealth of attractions and cultural experiences, and Missouri’s citizens are known for their hospitality and friendly nature.

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Jill Carter

Missouri Senate District #32, Republican

Give us a brief introduction of yourself, what district you represent, and a brief description of the characteristics of your district. 

  • I represent the Southwestern corner of Missouri (the best part of the state), Jasper and Newton County. I first became involved in politics over a decade ago when I started paying attention to what was going on at my local school district. As a mom of five, I believe that nothing is more important to the future of this country than our children. I started coming to Jefferson City as a citizen advocate wanting a better future for my kids. The people of my district are generous, hardworking, faithful, freedom-loving,

 

What are the biggest challenges your district faces and how do you hope to address those issues?

 

  • Missourians are suffering under the weight of government bureaucracies—too many
    rules, too many regulations. Overall, we need to make it easier to support local agriculture by removing legislative barriers and advancing policy solutions to strengthen community food systems. Policies to ensure support for local farms, the protection of private farmland, and supportive infrastructure will ensure a thriving agricultural economy for years to come.

  • As a member of the Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources committee, I look forward to continuing my work to support local farmers, opening the door for more neighbor to neighbor food sales, and improving the lives of rural Missourians.

What should the state and federal government be doing to establish and maintain strong energy security in Missouri?

 

  • We must unleash the power of American energy. As Sarah Palin once said, “drill baby drill.” As a state, Missouri must fight back against the coastal elites pushing Environmental Social Governance (ESG) based investment strategies. We must not allow Missouri assets to be invested against Missouri interests.

 

What makes the state of Missouri special to you?

 

  • I love Missouri – her people and her scenery make it the most wonderful state in the union. I am so proud to call her home. Missouri is the Show-Me State; it is the battleground in the fight for freedom. In the heart of the United States of America, Missouri is uniquely positioned to champion liberty, faith, family, and conservatism at large.

Sherri Gallick

Missouri District #62, Republican

Give us a brief introduction of yourself, what district you represent, and a brief description of the characteristics of your district. 

  • I was born and raised in Missouri. I held a career in the food and consumer product industry with a focus on agriculture and the meat industry. My background has been extremely helpful with many of the challenges within my district.  The geography is largely rural and located in Cass County and Bates County. The district is close to the KC metro, but far enough away that the cities have a small-town feel. There are several ranchers and farmers in the district, but small businesses and corporations also exist. The district has 13 cities and 10 school districts.

 

What are the biggest challenges your district faces and how do you hope to address those issues?

 

  • With rural areas, several parts of District 62 do not have zoning. Currently, farmers and residents are concerned with proposed windfarms, solar and mining operations in Bates County. Many residents have expressed that they want the project companies to be more transparent. Being a good steward of the community is important. Some projects have already started, while others are in the planning phases. No additional bills can be filed this year, so I will be doing a lot of research in the upcoming months to see if there are solutions to help business, economic development, and the residents.    

What should the state and federal government be doing to establish and maintain strong energy security in Missouri?

 

  • Secure energy sources serve as the foundation for economic prosperity and our independence. Proper policy can ensure reliable energy sources.  As explained above, Bates county is exploring a variety of energy sources, but I believe the cities/counties/state must have plans for the future developments to protect residents and farmland. For instance, one priority should be requiring bonding of the technologies if the projects become dormant or unfunctional. This would help to protect our farmland.

  • We must also protect against cyber attacks and invest in cyber security, as well as bring energy resources back to the USA and to Missouri.  

 

Are you satisfied with the progress being made to expand broadband across Missouri? 

  • Missouri has made dramatic improvements in broadband this year vs last. In the days ahead, broadband will be a priority. The internet highway is just as important as the physical roads when looking at economic development, health & wellness, and education.

What makes the state of Missouri special to you?

 

  • Missouri will always be special to me. I was born and raised in Missouri, but I did move for corporate relocations during my career. Even then, Missouri was home. I have been back in Missouri for 7 years now and I am blessed to be back. Missouri will always be home. I am an avid fan of the Chiefs, the Royals, Sporting KC and yes, I am even a fan of the STL Cardinals (just not when they play the Royals). I carry my Midwest values no matter where I go. I am proud to be from Missouri, I believe in state rights, local government and am proud that my roots are firmly planted in the foundation of Missouri. 

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