Michela Skelton grew up in rural Alabama in a place that didn’t have fences to keep people out, but to keep horses and goats in. Her and her brothers spent summer afternoons with other neighbor kids wading in the creek, fishing in the pond and climbing trees. They went to church dinners on Wednesdays and spent countless spring and summer nights cheering on little leaguers with the whole town.
When her father retired from the military after 20 years of service and moved the family to suburban Indianapolis a part of her was lost. She finally found it again when she moved to Boone County with her husband five years ago to raise our children. She is proud to again live in a close-knit community rooted in shared values like hard work, family and a love for nature.
Service and hard work have been a part of Michela’s identity since she was a child. Her parents met when they were both serving in the Air Force. Their work ethic and commitment to family and community helped push her forward. She began her own working life at 15 as a page at the local library, and continued working through getting her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Master’s degree in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
During graduate school, Michela had the honor of meeting with a distant cousin — former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton — in his Washington, D.C., office. One of the highlights of her life was having the chance to talk with Congressman Skelton about public policy, her desire to go to law school and her admiration for his service to the people of Missouri.
After working in both the private sector and the federal government, Michela went back to school again, this time for a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. While in school, she interned at a nonprofit fighting against housing discrimination. She worked with broken families and hurting children as a guardian ad litem. She made time to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters so she could make a difference in the life of at least one child and continue to do so today.
Michela’s first child was born her last semester of law school. After graduation, she looked for a job that fit both her passion for public service and her desire to be an active and engaged parent. She found what felt like the perfect fit as an attorney for the Missouri Senate.
Working for the non-partisan Senate research office, she drafted dozens of bills for senators on both sides of the political aisle. She gained invaluable legislative experience and got a firsthand look at what it takes to get a bill from concept through committees and floor debate to the Governor’s desk.
But also saw just how broken the system can be, how the deck is stacked against working families and everyday Missourians. Working for the Senate opened her eyes to the true level of dysfunction in our state government. The needs and desires of lobbyists, big-money donors and out-of-state special interests almost always won out at the expense of citizens and local communities.
She wants to serve as the representative of the 50th House District because she believes everyone should have a chance to get ahead. But right now millionaires, billionaires and big business are buying our government. Michela wants to be the voice for everyone who is working hard and facing unending obstacles and those altogether left behind by our corrupted system.
She is ready to stand up and fight for Missouri. Her door and her heart will always be open.