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Rep. LaKeySha Bosley On Special Session Derailment — And Ascendency Of Black Women In Missouri Politics

State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis
Courtesy of LaKeySha Bosley
State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis

State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the St. Louis Democrat talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll about the special session on violent crime — and primary results that showcased the power of Black women in Missouri politics.

Bosley was elected to represent Missouri’s 79th House District in 2018. She is unopposed for reelection, so she will represent the district that includes parts of St. Louis through at least 2022.

Here’s what Bosley talked about on the program:

  • How the House changed a multifaceted violent crime bill that the Senate approved last week. Instead, the House will deal with aspects of that measure in single-subject bills — which Bosley said is good because it gives lawmakers more time to consider the impact of their decisions.
  • Her opposition to a push to allow Missouri’s attorney general to intervene in St. Louis homicide cases. Bosley said that idea usurps local control from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who easily won the Democratic nomination for another term last week.
  • The controversy over how Missouri’s three Black senators voted against the violent crime legislation, while five white Democratic senators voted for it.
  • Whether the selection of California Sen. Kamala Harris as Joe Biden's running mate could energize Black voters in Missouri.

Bosley comes from a prominent political family in St. Louis. Her father, mother and two brothers have all served in elected office. Her brother, Freeman Bosley Jr., was elected as St. Louis’ first African American mayor in the 1990s. Her father, Freeman Bosley Sr., served on the Board of Aldermen for decades. Another brother, Brandon Bosley, is currently the alderman for St. Louis’ 3rd Ward. And her mother, Lucinda Frazier, is a longtime Democratic committeewoman.

Bosley serves on the powerful House Budget Committee. She also is the ranking Democratic member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which often handles tax-related legislation. At the moment, she is the only Black woman who represents a part of St. Louis in the Missouri House. That will change in 2021, when Kimberly-Ann Collins and Marlene Terry will represent districts that include parts of the city.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @driscollnpr

Follow LaKeySha Bosley on Twitter: @TeamBosleyMO79

Music: “BURN IT DOWN” by Linkin Park

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.