Sen. Gina Walsh, a champion for working families, steps aside as top Missouri Democrat


Sen. John Rizzo named new minority leader


Jefferson City – State Senator Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors) announced last week she is stepping aside from her position as the Democratic minority leader after nearly four years.

Senator John Rizzo (D-Independence), who had been serving as assistant Democratic minority leader, will take over her duties. After serving two terms in the Senate and four terms in the House, Walsh will be term-limited in January.

A retired member of Insulators Local 1 and former president of the Missouri Building & Construction Trades Council, Walsh has been a fierce champion for working families and Labor issues while serving in the General Assembly. She recently led a marathon filibuster against a bill that would have changed how asbestos claims are handled in Missouri.

Recently named deputy director for the International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators Union’s Labor Management and Cooperative Trust, Walsh will continue to serve in the Senate until her term ends in January. She said she made the decision to step down as minority leader while the legislative session was still under way to give Rizzo a chance to serve as leader while she is still there to help.

“With Senator John Rizzo as Democratic floor leader, the Democratic Caucus in the Missouri Senate is strong, capable and ready,” Walsh said. “I have full confidence in the hardworking, diverse and dedicated Democratic Senators who will continue to fight for Missouri families and the working class.”

Rizzo was elected to the Senate in 2016 after serving three terms in the House. During his time in the House, he was elected by the House Democratic Caucus to the position of Minority Whip in 2013 and again in 2015.

“Senator Walsh has been an unwavering fighter for working families, public schools and vulnerable Missourians throughout her tenure in the Legislature, and it is an honor to continue these efforts and more as Democratic leader,” Rizzo said.

“Missouri families are tired of having a legislature that hands out favors to the special interests while everyday citizens get left behind,” Rizzo said. “Across the state, more Missourians are getting on board with Democratic efforts to make health care more affordable, government more accountable, and an economy that works for everyone.”



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