Gina Mitten Says She Seeks Common Ground, Explains Views on Issues
She is running against fellow Democrat Jim Trout to serve as a state representative in the Missouri House.
Gina Mitten has advocated for her constituents for eight years on the Richmond Heights City Council, and it’s what she does every day as an attorney, she said.
She now wants to represent the constituents of Missouri’s new 83rd District the same way. Mitten is running against Jim Trout in the Aug. 7 primary.
She said she has maintained her Democratic values and activism for a long time. So transferring that to City Council was a logical step, and this is a next logical step.
“That’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve been to law school,” she said, “and that’s what I intend to do in Jefferson City.”
Mitten was 41 when she graduated with a law degree from Washington University. She was a high school dropout and a single mother who worked full-time by day and attended Meramec Community College. She later married and continued to work and go to night school.
She graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and took advantage of a scholarship to attend Washington University's law school.
Her Clayton law practice, St. Louis Lawyers Group, is “affordable to regular folks, representing their needs and their legal issues as possible,” she said.
Mitten has lived for 20 years in the same house in Richmond Heights, and she has been married to her husband, Nelson, for 18 of them. She grew up in University City. The child she had when she was in school is now working in New York City. She also has a daughter at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School.
She said she has a history of advocating for issues.
“My first door-knock was in 1980 for Jimmy Carter. I wasn’t even old enough to vote,” she said. “My first political protest was in 1981 when Ronald Regan fired the air-traffic controllers.”
“Being an advocate, to me, means go in, educate, present your case, but at the end of the day you still break bread, and sometimes beer, with your opponent,” she said.
She said she first reaches out to her adversary to determine common ground— “then you put on your battle paint and go into battle on the issues you aren’t able to agree upon. That’s the kind of advocacy to have in Jefferson City.”
She said some in Richmond Heights don’t agree with her on every issue but still support her candidacy.
“They know that when I make a decision, I talk about why I’m making that decision, and the concerns I have, and I’m going to speak my mind about it,” she said.
She said they also know she looks for common ground.
“How can we bring two sides together to do the best we can for the people that we represent?” she said.