Sara Walsh has known she wanted to be involved in state politics for as long as she can remember.
For the past 10 years, she has volunteered for Republican efforts in Missouri, worked in former representatives' campaigns and promoted party efforts. She currently serves as state representative for Missouri House of Representatives District 50 full time.
Born in the state of California, Walsh has been an Ashland resident for four years. She currently serves as Republican state committeewoman for the 19th Senatorial District.
Walsh said she is running to keep her seat in the Nov. 6 general election to "continue to serve and work hard for citizens of the 50th District."
The district covers most of Moniteau County and touches Boone, Cole and Cooper counties.
"As ambitious as I am and as hard as I'm working, you can't get everything done in the first year," Walsh said.
Walsh won a special election for the seat in August 2017, defeating Democratic candidate Michela Skelton, following a vacancy left by then Rep. Caleb Jones, who was named deputy chief of staff to former Gov. Eric Greitens.
She said proposed Amendment 1, referred to as Clean Missouri, is an important issue to her — and she will vote against it because of how involved she seeks to be in the district.
Amendment 1 asks if the Missouri Constitution should be amended regarding the process of redrawing state legislative districts as well as changes to gifts legislators receive from lobbyist.
Walsh said if creating districts to give Democrat and Republican representation would be the definition of gerrymandering and would increase district sizes.
"The very, very urban areas are generally going to lean Democratic, so in order to make that a 50/50 district you're going to have to take that and reach all the way into a rural area, and it's going to be a snake-like district," Walsh said. "To me that is going to be incredibly difficult to represent and to really hear the voice of the people."
Walsh also noted the importance of investment in education and infrastructure as priorities.
Listening to what constituents want is how Walsh plans to effectively represent the diverse district.
"What has been really important when you have people with different views throughout the district is being able to go throughout the district and have that one on one conversation," she said.
Walsh has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Columbia College and master's degree in public affairs, nonprofit management and public management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
If re-elected, she said, she will continue to work full time as a representative and be involved and understanding in the district.
"As with every election, it's very important that everyone goes out to vote. Elections are won by who shows up," Walsh said.