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From staffer to senator: Sen. Tracy McCreery details eventful first year in office

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Missouri state Sen. Tracy McCreery, D-Olivette, is photographed on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in the St. Louis Public Radio newsroom in Midtown St. Louis.
Tristen Rouse
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri state Sen. Tracy McCreery, D-Olivette, on Wednesday in the St. Louis Public Radio newsroom in Midtown St. Louis.

State Sen. Tracy McCreery is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the St. Louis County Democrat spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Sarah Kellogg about her first year in office.

McCreery represents Missouri’s 24th District, which includes cities such as Kirkwood, Sunset Hills, Valley Park and Creve Coeur. Before being elected to her post in 2022, McCreery served two stints in the Missouri House: The first was for roughly a year in 2012, the second from 2015 to 2023.

Here’s what McCreery discussed on the program:

  • McCreery, who was a former staffer to Democratic Sen. Joan Bray, discussed her first impressions of serving in the Senate. She said the freshman senators, who are mainly Republicans, have formed a close relationship with each other — and have sought to make an impact in a chamber where contention is commonplace.
  • She talked about the passage of legislation that will expand Medicaid coverage to postpartum mothers. McCreery said that this measure could help reduce Missouri’s maternal mortality rate, which legislators from both parties have contended are much too high.
  • McCreery, a member of a Senate committee overseeing agricultural issues, discussed efforts to curtail the foreign ownership of farmland. That issue received more attention in 2023, but lawmakers failed to pass anything on the topic.
  • While Ohio voters defeated an effort to make the state constitution more difficult to amend, most Missouri lawmakers expect the legislature to take up a similar measure next year. McCreery says she hopes that Missourians reject such efforts, adding that it’s taking away a tool for voters to alter public policy.

McCreery was first elected to the Missouri House as an independent in 2011. After losing reelection in 2012, McCreery ran for an open House seat in 2014 — and prevailed. She won three more terms without much difficulty.
McCreery squared off last year against Republican George Hruza in the race to succeed Democratic Sen. Jill Schupp in the 24th District. The contest for the seat was the only Senate race in which both political parties spent money to win. McCreery ended up winning by nearly 10 percentage points.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.