Catherine Hanaway is a former federal prosecutor and was elected as the first female speaker of the Missouri House. KOLR10’s Lindsay Clein has this profile of Catherine Hanaway.
“I grew up in rural Nebraska and Iowa. I’m the oldest of three kids. When I was born, my dad was a teacher and my mom was a nurse”.
“I moved to Missouri when i was 27 to take a job,” Hanaway says. “I met my husband here, and have been here ever since”.
Always interested in public service, Catherine Hanaway says she often volunteered in the communities she lived in.
“I always imagined I’d be doing something to be involved in the community. I did not imagine I’d be running for governor”.
But sure enough, the time, Hanaway says, has come. “I think the most important decision I’ve made is choosing to marry my husband and he is a wonderful man who encrouaged me to run”.
“My daughter thinks it’s great. She’s a senior in high school and she said to me the other day, ‘Mom, you’ll be on the first ballot I cast a vote on’– and that was cool”.
A federal prosecutor for four years, and the first and only female speaker to date of the Missouri House, Hanaway has been in the private sector for almost eight years now. And raising her 17 and 13 year old kids along-side her husband, Chris.
“I really felt called back to public service in large part because I’m so worried about the direction our country and state are going. I think the leadership is utterly failing us”.
Hanaway says her grandmother played a crucial part in inspiring her to be a leader.
“She just had a very clear set of values that God was first, family next, hard work third and those were the values she instilled in me. But she also had this tremendous sense anything was possible through individual effort and to me, that’s what being a Republican is about. That you believe in people and their own American dream to do things”.
Her hope to take office stems from wanting to help others.
“I come across to people as pretty tough. And I think that’s part of the prosecutor background maybe. What doesnt come across as much is the passion I have for helping people and thats really why I’m running for governor. I worry about the person who can’t find a job. Who can’t find a good enough job, the families struggling, The people who have mental health issues”.
Hanaway says with the right calls to action, the Show Me State could have a bright future ahead.
“Being number one in agriculture business isn’t just for farmers and ranchers. There’s food processing, transportation, tech jobs, and I think if we all come together as a state, our future can be very bright”.
Hanaway is currently a partner with the law firm Husch Blackwell and lives in St. Louis with her husband, Chris, and two children, Lucy and Jack.