Michela Skelton hopes to battle corruption in state politics as she seeks the Democratic nomination for the Missouri Senate’s 19th District.

“Getting to see the excitement on the ground of younger voters, like myself, and younger than me even, (I am) really hopeful that we can make some really good change here in mid-Missouri,” Skelton, 33, said. The election is in 2020.

Though she previously lost two elections for a seat in the state House of Representatives, Skelton is confident in her decision to run for Senate.

The 19th District includes both Boone and Cooper counties. Skelton plans to target several critical issues during her campaign, including the student debt crisis, cuts to health care, workers’ rights and rural investment. She also plans to support the University of Missouri because of its economic significance in Boone County, as well as local farmers in Cooper County battling against CAFOs.

If nominated, Skelton would run against Republican Caleb Rowden, the current 19th District state senator. He won the seat during a narrow election in 2016 and also holds the position of the Missouri Senate’s majority floor leader.

Skelton previously worked with the Missouri Senate’s nonpartisan research office, where she said “the needs of everyday people are getting trampled on by whoever has the most money to hire the most lobbyists.” She hopes her focus on integrity and anti-corruption in her campaign will resonate with voters.

Skelton anticipates the biggest challenge for the election will be voter registration and interest at the state level.

“Since this is a presidential election year, we often have higher voter turnout, but people are really only paying attention to who is at the top of the ticket,” she said. “But that’s not where the rubber meets the road. The rubber meets the road in our statehouses, and that’s where real change that affects our everyday lives can really be made.”

To promote voter registration, Skelton has worked with LGBTQ+ organizations at Columbia high schools and encouraged them to hold voter registration drives every year in May and August.

The primary election will be held Aug. 4, 2020. The general election will then be held Nov. 3, 2020.

Supervising editor is Mark Horvit.

  • State Government reporter, fall 2019. I am a first year graduate student studying international journalism. You can reach me at mneasley@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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