Best Local Politician - 2005
Readers' Choice: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay
In St. Louis you'll find her at Chuy's in Dogtown or tutoring at Adams Elementary School. In Jefferson City you'll see her going to bat for Medicaid and calling out fellow elected officials for ethics violations. She's Democratic state representative Rachel Storch of the 64th District. And at age 33, she might be the sharpest and most compassionate local politico with a paydirt future. The daughter of a pediatric AIDS specialist and an entrepreneur, Storch grew up in University City and attended John Burroughs before shipping east to Harvard. She came home to Washington University for law school, served as a public interest attorney, then began hurtling up the political ladder through stints with former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan and former state senator Ken Jacob. Last year Storch door-knocked at 4,400 homes, handily won her seat in the house and proceeded to land some plum assignments for a freshman rep (such as the Budget Committee). Storch has decided to put off a much-anticipated state senate run in order to care for an ailing family member, but doubtless she'll be back. "She's one of the most profoundly talented people I've ever had the privilege to work with," says Democratic consultant Roy Temple. "She's a naturally gifted leader -- rather than a natural politician."