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Representative Hannah Kelly Reminds Us We're All Human

Monday afternoon, ALA MGS had the opportunity to hear a special message from guest speaker Representative Hannah Kelly. Journalist Rebekah Harper conducted a brief last-minute interview in which she asked Representative Kelly some important questions involving her political career and advice to future female leaders.

“You were the very first woman to serve as the House Assistant Majority Floor Leader. What helped you break into such a competitive career and deal with serving in such a different kind of role?”

Rep. Kelly: “I got asked by a former member, ‘You really want to do this?’ and I said ‘Yes!’ The point is the value and importance that we bring to the table as females. All processes need a strong female voice at the table, especially government processes. During the congressional redistricting, realizing that I was the vice chair of that, a historical process that takes place every ten years, and to be the only female member of the Republican party sitting at that table is no small thing. The understanding of the responsibility that I had as a rural Missourian representing the fact that all areas of Missouri are diverse, distinct, and beautiful didn’t pass me by. It also felt like I was representing all Missouri women at that table. That train of thought is what has pushed me to run for and win my current position and higher positions I hope to hold one day.”

“You are very involved in your church community. How did your faith play into your political career?”

Rep. Kelly: “It was huge. I went through a period in my life where I thought that I was really good at planning my own life. I was asked by my uncle, who served eight years in The House, and he told me, ‘You need to run for the state,’ and I responded with something like, ‘No, you’re crazy! I don’t want to do that.’ Then I distinctly made a promise to God eight months later that I would start praying about my life plans and not try to run my life myself, because some things in my personal life were not going how I planned. After I made that promise, my uncle called me again and asked me again to run for state. While praying about it, I just felt in my heart that, win or lose, I had to do this, and God has made the way and He has never failed. My first race I won by 45 votes, and I feel like that is God’s way of both keeping me humble, while reminding me that anything is possible.”

“Whenever you find yourself dealing with difficult situations or heavy opposition, what helps get you through that?”

Rep. Kelly: “What helps is remembering that they are human just like I am, and when we get through the hard conversations, they’re still human. The problem with politics today is that we easily forget that we are all human beings with emotions and feelings and concerns that need to be addressed even if we don’t agree.”

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