SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Born and raised in Newton County and growing up in a politically diverse household, Genevieve Williams says she got into politics hoping to represent voters in Southwest Missouri who are not speaking up and are currently under-represented.
“Growing up I was raised by a single mother, and my grandparents were very very heavily involved,” said Williams.
She is an only child and was raised surrounded by family.
“We’d always come together as a family and eat dinner together Sunday afternoons,” she said.
She says she spent much of her childhood outdoors.
“I grew up surrounded by cattle, and horses, and poultry operations,” she said.
Williams left Neosho to attend Missouri State University. After graduating in 2008, she returned home.
“I had a hard time finding a job that paid a living wage, so I created my own job,” she said.
Williams became a small businesses owner – starting a marketing company. With a degree in journalism, she says she has shown interest in politics since a young age.
“I was I think 14, walking around with a copy of the 9/11 Commission report and reading it,” she remembered.
Growing up in a politically diverse household, also influenced her involvement.
“I don’t think I ever had a chance to not ever be involved,” she said. “As either a volunteer or making sure that I voted every time.”
Williams says growing up her family fluctuated between middle-class and low-income, and seeing how regulations affected her family personally makes her a good candidate for constituents in the 7th District.
She says she wants to be the voice for voters who identify as Democrat, liberal or progressive, and feel under-represented in this part of the state.
“I feel like I am carrying the banner for those individuals in Southwest Missouri, where we say ‘we work next to you, we study next to you and we worship next to you. And we vote democrat, and that doesn’t mean we are bad members of the community, or that we don’t love our country because that’s not true.”
While the campaign trail keeps her busy these days, she says having family support helps along the way.
“It makes everything a lot easier that at the end of the day you still have people who care about you,” she said. “I would thank them very much for their continuing understanding. And it’s 19 days. We are almost there.”