Chris Kelly is a Democrat concluding his first term as the 24th District’s state House representative.
Kelly served six terms as the 23rd District representative from 1982 to 1994. Those terms preceded term limits that were passed in 1992.
PERSONAL: Age 64. Married to Nanette Laughrey. Two children, Hugh and Kate.
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
OCCUPATION: Incumbent state house representative for District 24
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in history from Marist College, 1968; juris doctor from MU School of Law, 1988.
BACKGROUND: Member of American Whitewater Affiliation, Missouri Whitewater Association, Columbia Rotary Club and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
Kelly, an attorney, has worked as the associate director and Cole County director of the Central Missouri Counties’ Human Development Corporation, as Boone County clerk, as chairman of Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission and as a Boone County associate circuit judge.
- The state budget. Kelly believes budgeting will dominate the General Assembly over the next two years. He says one way to increase state revenue would be to raise the cigarette tax.
- Higher education. Kelly favors asking voters for a $700 million bond issue that would pay for capital projects at colleges and universities, including a new engineering building for MU. He sponsored a bond issue bill in the previous legislative session.
- Improving highways. Kelly supports the construction of an interchange and an overpass at U.S. 63 and Route H near Columbia Regional Airport. He says the project is critical for economic development and for public safety.
Why he’s running for re-election: “My wife wanted me out of the house,” Kelly said, jokingly. “But really, I think it’s important that we have people who will work bipartisanly to get things accomplished. I enjoy that challenge and accomplishment.”