One of the top Democrats in the Missouri House will be leaving the chamber this summer, shortly before he’s sworn-in as a Kansas City Council member.
House Minority Whip Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, is a senior House member in Jefferson City. He was first elected in 2011.
“I would just like to thank the people of the state of Missouri for allowing me to serve as a State Rep. and I would like to thank the citizens of Kansas City for bringing me home to actually engage the constituency on a whole different level,” Ellington says.
Ellington, who will be sworn-in to the Kansas City Council on August 1, says his Council win last week against Pastor Wallace Hartsfield was a tough race and one of the closest in his career.
Ellington tells Missourinet his biggest House accomplishment involves protection of crime victims.
“Removal of the statute of limitations for victims of child abuse and sexual molestation,” says Ellington. “That was a piece of legislation that was given to me in 2011 by a constituent.”
Ellington says he worked closely with former State Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City, to pass the bill, which is now law.
Ellington also carried a bill in 2019 which would have allowed a victim or witness of a crime to be granted an automatic full order of protection, if the victim or witness was fearful of his or her safety.
Representative Ellington says his biggest House disappointment is criminal justice reform. He says while it’s talked about a lot, the Missouri Legislature hasn’t shown the will to pass significant reform across-the-board.
The Legislature did approve three criminal justice reforms in 2019, but Ellington wanted lawmakers to go further.
While he’s a progressive, Whip Ellington has worked closely with House Republicans on several key issues over the years, including crime victim protection and jobs issues. Ellington says that bipartisan cooperation helped him win last week’s Council race.
“I did fairly good, not fairly I won Platte and Clay counties, and I think that’s due to a lot of the work that I do across the aisle,” Ellington says.
During GOP Governor Mike Parson’s January State of the State Address, State Reps. Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis, and Ellington were the first lawmakers to stand up and applaud the governor when he said he’s not interested in building more prisons.
Governor Parson received a standing ovation from both sides when he said that in January. Ellington was also a vocal supporter of the governor’s plan to close the maximum-security Crossroads Correctional Center in northwest Missouri’s Cameron and consolidate it with Western Missouri Correctional Center, which is also in Cameron.
Ellington and State Reps. Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, and Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, heard testimony from family members of Crossroads inmates during the September veto session. Those family members alleged inhumane treatment.
Ellington will be sworn-in to the Council on August 1, the same day Kansas City Mayor-Elect Quinton Lucas will be sworn-in.
Click here to listen to the full five-minute interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and House Minority Whip Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, which was recorded on June 24, 2019:
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