Luann Ridgeway

Clay County Eastern Commissioner

Luann is a native Missourian, born and raised in Moberly. She attended undergraduate school at William Woods and Westminster Colleges in Fulton, Missouri, where she graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors with a double major in political science and history.

During her undergraduate career, she spent a semester at American University in Washington, DC. While there, she attended college full time and worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide.

Following graduation from undergraduate college, Luann received a scholarship to study at Oxford University, Oxford, England. She returned to the United States to attend law school.

Luann graduated from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Law School in 1981 with a Juris Doctor Degree. She subsequently passed the Missouri Bar exam and began practice of law in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1982, Luann moved to Clay County. In 1983, she met her husband, Richard, at Country Club Christian Church, Kansas City, Missouri, where they were married in 1984. Following their wedding, Luann and Richard moved to a rural area near Smithville, Missouri, where they currently reside.

Luann began her own law practice in Smithville in 1987. She handles a wide variety of cases in her general practice. In addition to operating her business, Luann has served as a volunteer for many local organizations. Luann and Richard attend the Mt. Zion Baptist Church where Luann serves as a pianist.

In 1992, Luann entered the race to become State Representative for Missouri’s 35th Legislative District. She won, gathering 56% of the vote. She was re-elected in 1994, 1996, 1998 and in 2000. Luann served on the House Judiciary Committee from 1995-2002, and served as the Ranking Republican from 1995-1999. Luann also served as a member on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, the Energy and Environment Committee, the Civil Law Committee, the Criminal Law Committee, and the Urban Affairs Committee.

Luann served as the Assistant Minority Whip of the House Republican Caucus from 1995-1999. She was appointed to chair the House Republican Interim Committee on Crime Prevention and Corrections, which developed the Republican platform on these issues for the 1996 legislative session. In 1997, Luann was appointed to serve on the Joint Interim Committee on Family Law and Domestic Relations.

In 2004, Luann was elected to the Senate from the 17th district and re-elected in 2008. She served as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, Chairman of the Senate Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families Committee and Chairman of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Luann’s awards include:

  • Missouri State Teachers Association "Friend of Education" Award
  • Missouri Bar Association "Distinguished Legislator" Award (1997)
  • American Council of Young Political Leaders Delegate to Russia
  • Judicial Conference of Missouri Outstanding Legislator Award (1997, 2000)
  • Missouri Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award (1996, 2000)
  • Outstanding Freshman Legislator for Crime Victims Legislation
  • Champion of Justice Award (1998)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars, Legislator of the Year 2005-2006
  • Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations, Legislator of the Year 2006
  • American Legion, Legislator of the Year Award 2006
  • Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association, Legislator of the Year Award 2006
  • Missouri Ambulance Association, Legislator of the Year Award 2006
  • Northland Coalition, Certificate of Appreciation 2006
  • Honorary Water Patrol
  • Missouri Podiatric Society Legislator of Year 2007
  • Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association, Legislative Advocate 2007
  • NFIB, Guardian of Small Business 2007
  • RCGA, Lewis and Clark Statesmen Award, 2007
  • Missouri Healthcare Association, Senior Advocate of the year Award 2008
  • Gateway Chapter Autism Society of America, Advocacy Award 2008