Candidate Profile: Democratic Attorney General Candidate Teresa Hensley

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Democratic candidate for Missouri attorney general will have a chance to make history Tuesday, as Former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley could become the first woman to ever hold the office.

In campaign advertisements and on the trail, Hensley has touted nearly three decades of experience working in courtrooms. Hensley told KOLR10 News She seeing Missouri’s legal system through many facets will allow her to effectively supervise nearly 200 attorneys working in the office.

If Hensley gets elected, it will be her first foray in her life outside the Kansas City area. She grew up in Cass County, a suburban county just south of Kansas City and earned undergraduate and law degrees at colleges in the metropolitan area.

“I started kindergarten in Raymore, Missouri, and went clear through school there,” Hensley said. “My parents still live in Raymore. And I have family, cousins, uncles and everyone who live there as well.”

Since the 7th grade, Hensley knew she wanted to be an attorney, and opened up a law practice in Cass County in 1991.

“I think it’s good that sometimes kids don’t know what they want to do,” Hensley said. “Especially when you get to college, college is a good place to discover what you really want to do but for some reason I always really wanted to be a lawyer and got there.”

After more than a decade practicing law in her hometown, Hensley got a shot to be a prosecutor in 2005.

That is when another candidate on the ballot Tuesday, Current Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster, stepped down from that office to serve in the state Senate.

“I had cases that were significant cases,” Hensley said. “21 murder convictions out of 21 that we were able to gain and over 500 sexual assault, domestic violence and child sex abuse convictions. The attorney general’s office is the top law enforcement office in the state of Missouri despite what anyone wants to say. And in the last 60 days for instance they have handled murder cases, and child sex cases along with tax fraud and consumer fraud. [Those were] All cases I did as prosecutor.”

While the attorney general’s office can be used to push back against federal authority and take a political stance on issues, Hensley said her top priority will be seeking the most fair an equal justice under the law.

Hensley lost her re-election battle for Cass County prosecutor in 2014. After that, she returned to private law practice, and said she has been out on the campaign trail for this office over the last year.

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