Democratic Caucus grows with new members, new energy
Jefferson City, MO – With more members, including three new Senators for the 2019 Legislative Session, the Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus today reelected State Senator Gina Walsh as Missouri Senate Democratic Leader for the 2019-2020 legislative sessions to build on this momentum and to continue working for better healthcare, stronger schools, and an economy that works for all Missourians.
“Issue by issue, Missourians have said loud and clear that here at home, they want leaders who care about working families, care about affordable health care, and care about creating good jobs that pay a fair wage,” said Senate Democratic Leader Walsh. “Heading into the next legislative session, we are going to build on this momentum and I am grateful to lead such a talented and energetic group of State Senators.”
Sen. Walsh, of North St. Louis County, was elected to the Missouri State Senate in 2012 and reelected in 2016. This will be Sen. Walsh’s second two-year term as Senate Democratic Leader. Prior to her service in the Senate, Sen. Walsh served four terms in the Missouri House of Representatives. Sen. Walsh is a retired member of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local #1, with over 35 years of experience in the trade. Sen. Walsh is also president of the Missouri State Building & Construction Trades Council and serves on the executive board of the Missouri AFL-CIO. Sen. Walsh was instrumental in leading the fight against Right-to-Work, an effort that culminated with Right-to-Work’s defeat at the ballot box with more than 67 percent of Missouri voters rejecting the Republican-backed measure.
The Assistant Missouri Senate Democratic Leader is Senator Shalonn “Kiki” Curls, of Jackson County. Senator Curls was elected to the Missouri Senate in a special election in 2011; she won re-election to the Senate in 2012 and again in 2016. Prior to her service in the Senate, Sen. Curls served in the Missouri House beginning in 2007. During her time in the Senate, Sen. Curls has worked tirelessly on issues regarding access to quality education and health care, decent and affordable housing, tenant rights and economic development.
The Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus Chair is Senator-elect Karla May. Sen.-elect May is a lifetime resident of the city of St. Louis. Prior to being elected to the Missouri Senate, Sen.-elect May served four terms in the Missouri House of Representatives. She is a graduate of St. Louis University, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, and Lindenwood University where she received her Master of Arts in Teaching.
The Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus Whip is Senator Jamilah Nasheed. Sen. Nasheed was proudly born and raised in the City of St. Louis. Sen. Nasheed’s district includes some of Missouri’s most iconic treasures: The Gateway Arch, St. Louis University, Busch Stadium, The Missouri Botanical Gardens, The Fox Theatre, Soulard Market and Downtown St. Louis. Prior to her service in the Senate, Sen. Nasheed served three terms in the Missouri House of Representatives. Sen. Nasheed is recognized as a legislative leader on several issues including education, criminal justice, human rights, and urban economic development.
During the 2018 Legislative Session, eight Senators caucused with the Missouri Senate Democratic Caucus. Heading into 2019, that number has grown to ten with the successful elections of Senator Lauren Arthur, Senator-elect Karla May, and Senator-elect Brian Williams.
In August, more than 67 percent of Missouri voters rejected the Republican-backed Right-to-Work effort. Earlier this week, Missouri voters also passed a number of Democratically-backed ballot measures including comprehensive ethics reform, medical cannabis, and a minimum wage increase. The only ballot measure actively supported by Missouri’s Republican governor and lieutenant governor, a gas tax increase, was defeated by nearly 54 percent.
Of the only non-federal statewide office on the ballot, Missourians also elected Democrat Nicole Galloway as State Auditor by a nearly six-point margin.
Missouri’s 2019 Legislative Session will begin on January 9, 2019.