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Deb header 2022

HD 98: Deb Lavender


Who is Deb?

While serving in the legislature Deb found her place working on the Budget Committee to find and distributing hidden money to the areas throughout our state that needed it the most. She was able to work across the aisle to increase funding for people living at home with disabilities, mental health needs, utility assistance, and was able to amend the budget to include 15 million for broadband expansion. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to assure our tax dollars are working for Missourians and Deb is widely recognized as the best person to get this done.

Deb takes an active part in the community, working as a health care professional and local businesswoman. As a physical therapist and sole owner of an outpatient physical therapy clinic, Deb has built her professional reputation based on results. She is recognized as a leader in her field, receiving referrals from around the region.

Born and raised in New England, Deb put herself through college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. Soon after graduation, Deb moved to St. Louis and now has deep roots in our community.

Deb's interest in politics was first sparked as a teenager when she participated in Girls State, a program sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. There, she learned the importance and value of democratic government. In the following years, she put her energy and enthusiasm for politics to work by becoming involved in local and state issues.

Before being elected, Deb worked the halls of the state capitol in Jefferson City to garner support for issues important to her and the people in her community. In 2006, she channeled her passion and skill for government into an internship for State Representative Barbara Fraser.

Deb had the great opportunity to participate in raising her nephew, Griffin and is very proud of the man he has become and enjoys time with him and his growing family.

As an active leader and consistent volunteer in community service and community improvement endeavors, Deb participates in the following organizations:

  • Member of Rotary International since 1985
  • Women’s Political Caucus
  • Board of Directors, Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired 2010-2020
  • 50 Trees for 50 Years, Volunteer - (Kirkwood – 2011-2019)
  • Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, Member
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Member
  • Missouri Physical Therapy Association, Member

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We are at a point in the evolution of our country and community that we will not survive in a world that is for you or me. Whether we talk about the environment, healthcare, education, or jobs, we need a world that works for you and me. For democracy to work, our communities must be successful. For communities to work we need people to talk to each other, instead of yelling at each other. We need leaders to bring people together so all voices can be heard and valued. We need policies that invest and empower people in Missouri to make our state the best it can be. I am committed, and have shown through my actions, that Missouri needs to invest in our communities, to ensure that they have what they need for you and me to be successful.


For more than a decade, Missouri Republicans have blocked Medicaid Expansion. Even after the passage of Medicaid Expansion in August 2020, the Republican-controlled legislature has attempted to sabotage expansion at every turn. We need elected officials who have committed to protect the will of the voters and ensure a swift and efficient roll-out Medicaid expansion program.

When I knock on doors and talk to voters in my neighborhood, access to affordable and quality health care - medical, dental, and behavioral health - is consistently a top concern. If elected, I will continue the work to hold colleagues accountable to the will of the voters and expand Medicaid coverage for our friends and neighbors.


Our children have lost the most during the pandemic. Especially in education; so many of our children have fallen behind in their school work and have missed critical social interactions with their classmates. Our teachers have been amazing - transitioning to and from virtual learning, welcoming students back to class under challenging circumstances, and now with the Missouri Legislature attempting to micro manage their classrooms.

Every Missouri child should have access to free, quality, public education. For too long we have quarreled about where tax dollars should go for education. As a state we are 49th in the nation for education funding. It is clear that our state needs to do more to educate and support our children. We must prioritize and strengthen our public schools and fund our commitment to our kids. We must support our teachers and school administrations so they know we have their back as the work to have each child be successful.


For too many years Missouri has been last in the nation for economic growth. We are too busy hoping trickle down economy works, even though it never has. Over the last decade Missouri has cut taxes for corporations in the hope it will create jobs in the state, yet our gains hardly make up for our losses. Geographically, Missouri sits in the middle of this nation – our interstate highways and rivers that should place us at the center of commerce - yet we languish with empty store fronts and factories.

It is time to invest in Missourians and create opportunities for success. Governor Parson requesting $15/hr. minimal wage for our front line workers is a good start. We can build on this first good step.

The pandemic has demonstrated the inequity of access to broadband, both in urban and rural Missouri. Expanding broadband to all our communities would be great first step.