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RFT, October 2022

Mix one part schoolteacher and one part fighter, and you’ll get Jessica Piper, a self-described dirt-road Democrat campaigning to be the state representative in Missouri’s First District, a rural district in the northwest corner of the state. She has an uphill battle in a district that heavily swung toward President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. But Piper knew the odds were long going in. “In 2020, I went to vote for my representative and there was no Democrat on the ballot, and I just decided that it was enough,” Piper told KFEQ and the St. Joseph Post. A mom, literature teacher and Twitter phenom, Piper relentlessly campaigns for reproductive rights and common-sense gun control as well as better working conditions for teachers and expanded access to health care. “For 20 years, [Republicans] have written the laws in this state. So when you look around … and you see that we are 50th in teacher pay, you see that we are 49th in educational funding, you understand that is a direct result of policies from the GOP,” she says. No matter the result of her pending election, Piper is someone Missouri should be proud of in a sea of Josh Hawleys. —Jenna Jones

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