A Republican, Kelly spent the past session serving as the assistant majority floor leader in the House.
“In between this awaited leadership race and now is another legislative session, and the opportunity to continue serving you as assistant majority floor leader. My commitment to you, no matter the day, is to implement strategic planning and teamwork into our shared vision of keeping Missouri strong and help hold the Republican supermajority,” Kelly said in a letter to colleagues and shared with The Missouri Times. “You will find in me a deep respect for our differences as a caucus because our individual districts are what make us stronger than ever as we work together towards a better Missouri for all who will follow us.”
Kelly was first elected to represent HD 141 in Wright and Webster counties in 2016. A former foster parent herself, Kelly shepherded two bills aiding Missourians who foster and adopt children through the General Assembly this session. And both were signed into law by Gov. Mike Parson during a ceremony on the steps of the Capitol in April.
Kelly is an active broker for Century 21 and a member of the Mountain Grove Chamber of Commerce.
In the legislature, Kelly is the chairman of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and the vice chairman of the Special Committee on Redistricting. She is also a member of the Budget, Ethics, Legislative Review, and Rules – Legislative Oversight committees, among others.
And she can also often be heard playing the piano in the Capitol rotunda.
“As your majority floor leader, you have my commitment that I will say what I mean and do as I say to lead our caucus,” Kelly said. “I’ve served on the Budget Committee; handled policy; and know what it means to bring members together on policy from both sides of the building, with the outcome of seeing members’ bills cross the finish line to the governor’s desk. I understand that our process and position in the House is to be respected. As a negotiator in the private sector, I understand the need to ensure that Missouri’s families have a voice.”
Aside from Kelly, Rep. Mike Haffner has also launched a campaign for floor leader. Rep. Jon Patterson is expected to get into the race as well. Reps. Ben Baker, Mike Henderson, and Jim Murphy formally announced bids for House speaker pro tem. And Rep. Dean Plocher, the current majority floor leader, is running for speaker.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.