MISSOURI WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP COALITION
2020 Candidate Endorsements
For the 2020 election cycle, we are proud to endorse the following candidates. It takes big money to run and female candidates often face opponents with large war chests.
Join us in supporting our endorsed candidates by donating to our MWLC PAC and by joining our volunteer network. Also watch this page as we announce other endorsed candidates.
Nicole Galloway : Candidate for Governor
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Nicole Galloway
Current State Auditor Nicole Galloway is running for Governor to put Jefferson City back on the side of working families. Nicole has watched as Governor Parson has cut health care from 100,000 children and, by refusing to join Republican and Democratic Governors from across the country in expanding Medicaid, he has let seven rural hospitals close on his watch -- devastating local economies and forcing thousands of rural Missourians to drive hours for health care services. Nicole feels it’s time for a new way.
She plans to expand Medicaid, restore coverage for those children, keep rural hospitals open and implement an aggressive agenda to help Missourians cover the costs of healthcare as we work together to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m running for Governor to put Jefferson City back on the side of working families. Right now, unless you’re well-connected, Governor Parson isn’t doing much to make a difference for you and your family. Your health care costs continue to rise. The quality of education continues to drop. Good jobs are tougher to come by. It’s all happening while millions of your taxpayer dollars are given away, wasted or stolen each year. I’m running for Governor to change all of that.”
Join us in supporting Nicole Galloway by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Alissia Canady : Candidate for Lieutenant Governor
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Alissia Canady
Former Kansas City Councilwoman, Jackson County Assitant Prosecutor, and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Alissia Canady was raised in Kansas City. She committed more than a decade to fighting for working families- advocating for justice, promoting quality healthcare, and creating jobs. Now Alissia is prepared to tackle these issues across the state in Jefferson City.
“Missouri is a state of opportunity and prosperity. Now is our time to make that a possibility for so many more. This campaign is about bringing together a coalition of people and ideas to ensure all Missourians, not just the most fortunate among us, have an opportunity to succeed. At a time when our state and our nation are paralyzed by the pandemic, the need for decisive, capable, and compassionate leadership is more important than ever.
Join us in supporting Alissia Canady by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Vicki Lorenz Englund : Candidate for State Treasurer
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Vicki Lorenz Englund
Vicki Lorenz Englund brings a wealth of exprience to the table. She served in the SBAs Office of Women's Business Ownership, worked for the St. Louis Economic Council after 9/11, served on the Lindbergh School Board, and is a former state representative. The National Democratic Treasurer's Association has targeted her race as one of the top three Democratic pickups in the country.
In office, Vicki plans to implement targeted small business loans for entrepreneurs hit hardest by Covid19. She also plans to increase diversity in the Treasurer's office, specifically by creating an internship program with Lincoln University students. Vicki plans to bring the solid, strong leadership needed to get Missouri's economy back on track.
“I am running to be your Missouri State Treasurer because I know how to help small businesses in times of financial crisis. I will build a bench of qualified and financially strong candidates who fit their districts so we can begin to win back the Missouri House and Senate."
Join us in supporting Vicki Lorenz Englund by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Deb Lavender : Candidate for State Senate District 15
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Deb Lavender
(District 15 encompasses several new municipalities within West County, South County, and unincorporated St. Louis County)
Currently serving her third term as State Representative for House District 90 covering Kirkwood, Glendale, Warson Woods and parts of Sunset Hills, Webster Groves and Oakland, Deb Lavender is now looking to further her work in the Missouri Senate. Born and raised in New England, Deb put herself through college at Marquette University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. Soon after graduation, Deb moved to St. Louis and has lived here ever since.
Deb's interest in politics was first sparked as a teenager when she participated in Girls State. There she learned the importance and value of democratic government. As a representative, Deb serves on the Budget Committee working for better health care and mental health care coverage for Missouri's children, those with disabilities, and for the developmentally disabled communities. She has re- introduced to her colleagues the over 500 reserve accounts that hold over $3.4 billion that (due to term limits) many have forgotten.
Join us in supporting Deb Lavender by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Judy Baker : Candidate for State Senate District 19
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Judy Baker
(MO SD 19 stretches across Boone and Cooper counties, representing small rural communities as well as downtown Columbia home to the University of Missouri)
Judy is an experienced health care policy-maker, consultant, and former lawmaker. She holds degrees in Education and Healthcare Administration from the University of Missouri as well as a Master of Divinity from Midwestern seminary, where she met her husband with whom she has three children. Recently she founded a nonprofit, SEED Success to address poverty, encourage positive youth development, and help kids learn to plan and save for their future.
During her time as a state lawmaker in the Missouri General Assembly (from 2005-2009), she was a ranking member of the Budget, Health Care and Education committees. She formed the American Dream and the Health Information Technology Caucuses to educate legislators in both poverty reduction and technology. After leaving office, Judy served as Regional Director, Region VII, for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the office of the DHHS Secretary. Judy looks forward to returning to Jefferson City to serve the will of the people.
“Most Missourians believe in safe and sensible gun laws, that we should allow women to women the privacy to make healthcare decisions with their families, their doctor, and their clergy, that we need a new energy economy founded on renewable and sustainable sources, and that big money and gerrymandering should play no part in our elections. Yet many politicians vote completely opposite to our values. There comes a time when we need to change our politicians. That time is now.”
Join us in supporting Judy Baker by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Maggie Nurrenbern : Candidate for State Representative House District 15
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Maggie Nurrenbern
(District 15 consists of Gladstone, Oakview and the surrounding villages and Kansas City (North))
Maggie Nurrenbern is from the Northland, works in the Northland, and has always been proud to call the Northland home. Now she wants to represent her home in the state house! As a mom, teacher, and union member she understands all too well that the legislators in Jefferson City have not been advocating for hardworking families. She intends to change that.
Maggie is the product of great public education in the state of Missouri. She graduated from Smithville High School, received her bachelor’s degree at Truman State University and went on to get her Master’s in Education at UMKC. After graduating college, she served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador for two years working in education and public health. Now she is a high school teacher and building representative for NKC-NEA.
“My students and my own children have given me a renewed purpose to advocate for bright futures for kids all across Missouri. I’m running for state representative to fight for public education, to champion quality, affordable healthcare, to defend our workers’ rights, and to secure funding to fix our crumbling infrastructure.”
Join us in supporting Maggie Nurrenbern by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Rhonda Dolan: Candidate for State Representative House District 31
MWLC Endorsed Candidate for HD 31 Rhonda Dolan
(MO HD 31 is comprised of the majority of Blue Springs and North Lee’s Summit)
Rhonda began her career as a high school English teacher and went on to work on a national consultant for non-profit organizations. She has also worked as a change management consultant for mid-size companies and is also an entrepreneur. She is also a single mom to three teenagers. After growing up in poverty and being supported by programs like food stamps and Pell grants, Rhonda feels called to give back to the community that supported her.
After watching the current super-majority work actively to overturn the will of their constituents, Rhonda knew she had to step up and work for the people of Missouri. Rhonda feels that government has a specific but limited role and it is time that the representatives of the people begin to take the oath of office and the constitution seriously and to represent all people regardless of their personal beliefs, whom or what they vote for, the color of their skin, the money in their pockets, their sexual orientation, age, gender or gender identity.
“I believe a single voice can be heard among a crowd of opposition if that voice is tireless, active, informed, cooperative and true. I intend to represent my constituents, make them feel heard and that each one matters - because they do.”
Join us in supporting Rhonda Dolan by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Dr. Jacque Sample : Candidate for State Representative House District 44
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Dr. Jacque Sample
(MO HD 44 includes parts of northeast Columbia, Sturgeon, Hallsville, and Centralia)
Jacque has worked as an occupational therapist (OT) for the past 20 years, mainly in Boone County. She also has worked in higher education for over 10 years, and just was appointed as an adjunct professor at Central Methodist University. Jacque is also a wife and a mother, and her oldest son has autism. Autism has always been present in Jacque’s professional and personal life but it also spurred her work as an advocate for disabilities.
Jacque spent years pounding the pavement of Jefferson City advocating for equal access to education for those with disabilities. After a state Senator told her “to live in the real world”, Jacque felt called to run for office. She was done trying to influence policy that wasn’t thorough, helpful, or accurate. If her representatives couldn’t create good policy, then Jacque would step up and create it herself.
“My goal as a Representative for the 44th is to listen to all of my constituents’ concerns. I hope to be involved in healthcare legislation, including Medicaid expansion, disability services, and body autonomy as well as education legislation, supporting our public schools and fully funding high education as well as improving the response and reach of special education services.”
Join us in supporting Dr. Jacque Sample by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Kari Chesney : Candidate for State Representative House District 50
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Kari Chesney
(District 50 includes parts of Boone County, Moniteau County, Cooper County, and Cole County)
Kari never imagined she would be running for office. She grew up loving animals and dreaming of becoming a veterinarian. She wanted to heal sick animals. Through her work as a vet for Missouri families and farmers she realized that Missouri itself is sick and needs saving. Missouri farmers lost $850 million dollars this year and their access to healthcare is dwindling as 10 rural hospitals across the state closed down.
When she looks at Missouri, Kari sees a state that has been mismanaged and left behind by its representatives. Kari believes that the state shoud be valuing public education not cutting $133 million from its budget. She is ready to get to Jefferson City and fight for hardworking Missouri families by making decisions based on data, not the media narrative.
"I'm not running for office to be a mouthpiece for a party. I refuse to kowtow to lobbyists or big money donors. I'm running to take back Jefferson City for the people. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and do the hard work that our current legislators are too afraid to do. Let's take back Missouri for all of us."
Join us in supporting Kari Chesney by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Jean Pretto : Candidate for State Representative House District 94
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Jean Pretto
(District 94 includes most of South County from Hwy 21 (Tesson Ferry Rd.) to the Mississippi River. With Reavis Barracks Road on the North side and Butler Hill Spur on the South side. This includes the communities of Mehlville, Oakville, Green Park, Concord Village, including both sides (North and South of I-255 and I-270)
A lifetime educator, Jean Pretto was elected to the Mehlville School District Board of Education in 2015 and is currently in her third, three year term. Aware of the many struggles public schools are forced to deal with due to continual state and federal funding cuts, she knew she had to do step up and serve. educator, it became my goal to defend public education.
To further that goal, Jean felt she would be more effective at the state level. Hers was the closest race in St. Louis in 2018 when (out of 15,000 votes) she only lost by 137 votes. Having learned from that experience, she is determined to win and start fighting for education in the state house.
“I fully realize that I will most likely not be able to initiate any sweeping improvements (with the Republican Super Majority in control). However, I am hopeful that I can be that voice of accumulated wisdom and common sense to promote issues that are important to my constituents.”
Join us in supporting Jean Pretto by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Ann Zimpfer : Candidate for State Representative House District 95
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Ann Zimpfer
Ann Zimpfer is a recently retired educator with more than 30 years of experience. She is also a committed, active union member spending the last four years on the NEA negotiating team. As a teacher, Ann knows how to get a message across, and she looks forward to fighting for the values of her friends, neighbors, and students in the Missouri Legislature
Ann's keen interest in politics started as a child, watching her mother serve as President of her local League of Women Voters' chapter. Young Ann thought everyone's mom was in "The League", and still has the ERA bracelet her mother gave her in the '70s. She hopes to make her mother proud by sharing her own voice and experiences in Jefferson City.
“I am a political outsider who knows the importance of compromise and representation.”
Join us in supporting Ann Zimpfer by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Trish Gunby : Incumbent Candidate for State Representative House District 99
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Trish Gunby
(District 99 includes Manchester, Twin Oaks, and Valley Park along with a portion of unincorporated St. Louis County)
Trish Gunby was elected in a special election in November of 2019, only to have her term interrupted by Covid19. She has spent her time in Jefferson City learning from colleagues and making friends across the aisle in order to advance her legislative priorities. Trish is running to finish what she started.
“I hope to be a voice for those who feel the current make-up of our legislature is too conversative. There are attacks on our voting rights, public education, healthcare, and LGBQT+ persons. We need to be vocal about what we can do to make MO inclusive. I believe my positions on these issues will help drive economic development and elevate the stature of our state.”
Join us in supporting Trish Gunby by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Cindy Slimp : Candidate for State Representative House District 133
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Cindy Slimp
(District 133 represents Springfield)
When Cindy was growing up, her mother worked in a factory and would then fill in part time at a cafe for extra income. To make sure there was enough food to go around, she would wait until Cindy and her siblings had eaten before eating herself. Early in life she understood the difference between her family’ economic status and those of her classmates.
Cindy’s life experience has given her a much deeper understanding of how policies impact Missouri families, of how income inequality affects your quality of life from the food on your table to the stability of the home you live in. A child’s economic status determines their future. In office she plans to protect working families and work to achieve equity in education and healthcare.
“It’s one things to write healthcare policy, it’s a different matter to actually face hardships with healthcare, housing, unemployment, and education ourselves. Missouri can do better. We can overcome and create policy that works for the people.”
Join us in supporting Cindy Slimp by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Betsy Fogle : Candidate for State Representative House District 135
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Betsy Fogle
(MO HD 135 represents Springfield, MO)
Betsy Fogle is a Springfield native with deep roots in her community. She is a proud graduate of the Springfield Public School district who went on to earn her degree in sociology at Missouri State University. Her professional career has been spent working in public health, advocating for access for Missourians to much needed medical, dental, and behavioral health services. Her upbringing and experiences in public health led to her run for office.
She is running for office because she believes that all Missourians deserve equitable and sustainable policies and she wants to be one of the legislators fighting to enact them. If elected she plans to fight for the state to pass the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (known as MONA) which is in its 21st year fight for passage. She also plans to focus on equal access to a free, quality public education.
“I believe that everyone living in our state should be able to obtain quality and affordable health care and our children deserve a quality public education regardless of their zip code, gender, race or class. I will work for a Missouri that welcomes and supports ALL people.”
Join us in supporting Betsy Fogle by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Yvonne Reeves Chong : Candidate for State Representative House District 122
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Yvonne Reeves Chong
(District 122 encompasses Waynesville, St. Robert, Laquey, and Ft. Leonard Wood)
Yvonne Reeves Chong is a hardworking single mother. A former used car saleswoman, Yvonne now works as a finance manager. She has spent the last few years filling her spare time with working in politics. Her own experience as a single mom propeled her into getting involved in poltiics. She feels the deck is stacked against Missouri families and wants to see the government work for the people, not just corporations.
"Someone has to stand up and fight for people who do not have the means to fight for themselves. The current system enables rich people to go to Jeff City and write laws that favor other rich people. No one is fighting for us."
Join us in supporting Yvonne Reeves Chong by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Tracy Gundy : Candidate for State Representative House District 102
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Tracy Gundy
Tracy started her career as a high school English teacher, tranisitoned into a long career in retail management, and then, following her passion for training and developing people, moved into human resources. She is currently the State Director of Membership for the Missouri Society of Human Resources Management organization and is the current past president of this Lewis & Clark Chapter of SHRM.
She is running for office because she believes the current Missouri legislature has ignored the rights of Missourians in regards to multiple issues including safe voting through absentee ballots, affordable healthcare, and sensible gun legislation.
“I will support legilation that will make our state of Missouribe a safe and prosperous place for all of its citizens. I will fight tirelessly for women's reproductive rights, the ratification of the Equal Rights Ammendment, and educational equality for all of our children."
Join us in supporting Tracy Gundy by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Rev Susan Shumway : Candidate for State Representative House District 108
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Rev Susan Shumway
(District 108 includes the majority of Lake St. Louis, and parts of O'Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, and Wentzville )
Ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ, the Rev Susan Shumway grounds her ministry in social justice. Though she was born in Massachusetts, she has called Missouri home for over twenty years. A mom to two sons, Susan believes strongly that all Missouri children should have access to a quality educational foundation.
In Jefferson City, Susan plans to push for legislation that ensures equality and protection for women and the LGBQT community. She also plans to work for healthcare reform, especially for legislation that will ensure access to preventative healthcare for all Missourians.
“I am running because I believe that we are all God's kids and deserve to have a safe and fulfilling life. That means showing respect for everyone whether I believe in the same things or not.”
Join us in supporting Susan Shumway by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Mindi Smith : Candidate for State Representative House District 2
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Mindi Smith
A resident of District 2 for over forty years, Mindi sees the needs of local families, especially those that grew up on working farms like she did. And those needs are not being met by the legislators in Jefferson City. Mindi has already served her community as an educator, publisher of a Northwest Missouri newspaper, a city council member, and a liason for a Missouri based children's charity. Now she wants to represent Missourians on a larger scale.
Mindi's focus in Jefferson City will be fighting for access to affordable healthcare, better education for Missouri children, and availability of safe jobs with better benefits, with a focus on keeping our rural areas thriving. Mindi is also committed to to improving infrastructure and preventing further sales of Missouri farmland to foreign entities.
“I am committed to a better Missouri, where my family has lived for generations. My priority is to provide opportunity and growth so that our children are motivated to stay and raise their own children here in thriving communities."
Join us in supporting Mindi Smith by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Lisa Rees : Candidate for State Representative House District 103
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Lisa Rees
Lisa Rees has a passion for serving, as her thirty plus years in social work prove. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her Master's of Social Work from St. Louis University. Currently she works for a private child welfare organization in St. Louis County. She is active in her community through volunteering at local food banks and MOMS Demand Action. She is also a mom of four kids, ranging from 14 to 30, and grandmom to four grandkids.
She is running for office to protect vulnerable Missourians by putting people over profit. In Jefferson City, she plans to concentrate on rights for women and LGBQT individuals, Medicaid expansion, securing common sense gun regulations, protecting labor unions, and protecting our election process.
“Missourians need protection from the extremist beliefs of the super majority in Jefferson City. I believe strongly that healthcare is a human right."
Join us in supporting Lisa Rees by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Connie Simmons : Candidate for State Representative House District 53
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Connie Simmons
Connie Simmons began her career of caring about and serving others in 1994 when she accepted a position as a school counselor in the Chilhowee school district. She continued in education until she retired from the Blue Springs school district in 2018. Watching our country and government become more and more divided has fueled her to take a stand and run for office. Connie believes that both Republicans and Democrats have good and bad ideas and they should work together on the good ones and reject the bad ones as a team.
As a retired educator, Connie has a passion for helping Missouri's youth. She believes that Missouri's future depends on how we treat our children and that education and healthcare both need better funding. Connie believes that a student's economic status should not determine whether they stay healthy or what they are taught in school. It makes her mad that the Missouri gambling intiatives which were meant to advance education were instead seen by state lesgislators as a way to cut funding for education. That plan was to add to education funding with that money, not replace it!
“I am sick of our legislators doing whatever they want in the legislature, and not what we want. I believe that a representative has a duty to seek out and listen to their district constituents and make informed decisions based on their wants and needs. I am tired of seeing legislators try to undo what the people have asked for, like CLEAN Missouri. Their job is to represent me, not babysit or school me. As a representative I will TRULY represent the people in District 53.
Join us in supporting Connie Simmons by donating to the MWLC PAC. 100% of your donation will go to MWLC endorsed candidates
Karen Planalp : Candidate for State Representative House District 9
MWLC Endorsed Candidate Karen Planalp
Current City Planning Commisioner and County Deputy Registar, is running to represent Missouri House District 9. In the legislature, she plans to advocate for healthcare for women, rural areas, and the socioeconomically challenged. She also plans to focus on infrastruture and bringing much needed jobs to House Distict 9. Her third focus area will be education, especially on early education and correcting the digital divide. She plans to call for an audit of MWSU, the state univeristy in HD 9, in order to bring back transparency and funding of major areas of study.
Karen is a Missouri Western State University alumna with a Bachelor's in Political Science as will as a double minor in International Affairs and Biology. In November she will receive her Master's Business Adminstration (MBA) degree. Trilingual, Karen speaks French and Spanish (as well as basic Arabic) and has put her knowledge to use in volunteer work in her community with the Second Harvest Food Bank, Trails West, and many other organizations. She is also a military spouse and mother to a young adult scholar.