Melissa Leach

137th District, House

Party: Republican

Education: B.S. degree from Southwest Missouri State University

Previous political experience: SW Missouri regional coordinator of Missourians Against Human Cloning

Family: Son, Robert, is in the Navy

Current occupation: Senior professional fundraiser for Strategic Fund-raising

Q: Why are you running for office?

I’m running to represent northwest Springfield because I believe we need someone who will fight for the 137th and work to protect Liberty and the common-sense, conservative values and principles of the folks who call northwest Springfield home.

Q: Give a history of your political background and experience.

In 2005-2006, I worked with a friend and fellow mom to change state statute extending parental rights over their 17-year-old children. Currently state statute allows for 17-year-old children to leave home without complying with emancipation laws while the State holds the parents responsible for those children with few exceptions.

I also volunteered with Missourians Against Human Cloning in 2006, a state-wide, non-profit organization that worked to educate voters about human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, the use of public funding for it, and how the issue was presented in a ballot measure.  I was later promoted to the volunteer position of Southwest Missouri Regional Coordinator and oversaw a 14-county-strong, pro-life/pro-taxpayer volunteer force that was successful in its education and get out the vote efforts throughout southwest Missouri.

Since then, I’ve been involved with local conservative-leaning organizations including Missouri Republican Assembly 7th District, Greene County Republicans, Fearless Voter, Greene County Libertarians, The Y.O.U.N.G. Conservatives, Republican Libertarian Caucus and the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party Movement.

Q: What are the top three items you would like to address as a legislator if elected?

The economy, state sovereignty, and conservative values are the three items I would address. Small businesses are at the heart of having a vibrant local economy. We need to protect and grow jobs and opportunities. Keeping our small businesses under local control by rejecting the federal government’s attempts to regulate them, is essential to their success.

We need elected officials to reflect the conservative values we hold as Missourians, and act upon those values by making sound financial decisions instead of raising taxes.

Q: What is the biggest issue facing Missouri?

Jobs is the biggest issue facing Missouri. Many Missourians are struggling to make ends meet. Successful local businesses will help improve our economy and give employers the confidence to hire hard working people. It is my commitment to work hard in Jefferson City for northwest Springfield and make sure that our conservative values are at the core of our decision-making.

Q: Missouri is facing budget cuts like many other states. Where do you propose cutting the budget and which items do you feel need to be preserved?

I believe that our conservative values should lead us into making the smartest decisions regarding the budget. Missouri needs more fiscal conservatives in Jefferson City to keep government spending under control. As northwest Springfield’s state representative I would continue to make the tough but necessary decisions that are in the best interests of the people.

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