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story.lead_photo.caption Mark Wilson/News Tribune Sara Michael in her office located at 419 East High Wednesday afternoon.

Everybody needs to pitch in if they expect good things to happen for Missouri, according to Sara Michael, the Democratic candidate for state House of Representatives District 60 seat.

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"This notion that we are divided, and that we are heavily divided — deeply divided — is not true," Michael said.

There are people on both ends of the political spectrum who hold tightly to their beliefs and defend their sides passionately, she said.

"But the rest of us are reasonable and compassionate and willing to listen to the other side and give the other side the opportunity to be heard," Michael said, "and expect tour own side to be heard."

It's through this optimism she hopes to get work done if elected to the General Assembly on Nov. 6.

Michael, a family law attorney with Carver & Michael LLC who has lived in Jefferson City for more than 22 years, is the mother of two teenagers. She received her law degree from the University of Missouri.

A firm in Jefferson City offered Michael her first law job.

"I was lucky," she said. "There weren't a lot of female attorneys anywhere in town."

The men she worked with, their wives and their children welcomed any newcomers, Michael said. And they made it a point to make sure she made connections with groups that helped her grow her circle of friends and her network. They were always there for her. She got involved in local schools, events and women's groups.

She was with the firm for 13 years before beginning her own law practice with her best friend.

Michael is facing off in the general election against Dave Griffith, the Republican candidate.

They are running to see who will replace state Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City.

Barnes is completing his fourth term in the office. He served on numerous committees and most recently chaired the House committee that looked into former Gov. Eric Greitens' legal troubles. Barnes first won his seat in 2010, a year in which the Republicans shot toward a supermajority. He entered the House in a year when Republicans had more victories than ever before.

During the primary election in August, voters cast about two and a half times as many ballots for Republican candidates for the seat than Democrats.

That is not discouraging Michael, she said, because as she knocks on doors she finds people are willing to listen to her ideas.

"They're willing to listen," she said. "That gave me great optimism because I knew it was going to be an uphill battle once I hopefully got into the general election."

She intends to be fiscally responsible with taxpayers' dollars.

"But I also believe that if we want good things for the state of Missouri," Michael said, "everyone has to be willing to put some skin in the game."

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