ANDREW COUNTY, Mo. – First elected to the Missouri Senate in 2014, Sen. Dan Hegeman will be term-limited after the 2022 legislative session – but his diligent efforts and kind personality have made a lasting mark on the legislature.
He currently represents the 12th Senatorial District which encompasses 15 counties throughout Northwest Missouri.
Known for his compassionate heart and love for his community, Hegeman grew up on a sixth-generation row crop and cattle farm in Andrew County where he still is part-owner. Over the years, the senator has cultivated strong ties to the community through his involvement with several local boards and groups in Northwest Missouri.
Hegeman has served on the Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation Board, Maryville Industrial Development Council Board and as president of the Second Harvest Regional Food Bank Board of Directors. Additionally, he served as chair of the Nodaway County Economic Development Board, board president of the Maryville Chamber of Commerce and president of the Andrew County University of Missouri Extension Council. Hegeman has also received the Missouri Farm Bureau’s Friend of Agriculture Award.
Hegeman’s impact on the legislature began in 1991 when he ran a successful campaign for state representative in Northwest Missouri. Serving a total of 11 years in the lower chamber until term limits were implemented, Hegeman developed a reputation for his friendly nature and pragmatic approach to the budget.
In 2002, Hegeman took about a 12 year hiatus from the state legislature to explore other career opportunities and was soon elected to local office as the County Clerk for Andrew County.
Hegeman began working for Evergy as a Community Affairs Manager in 2008 and still holds that position. He has also served in the office of Congressman Sam Graves.
In 2014, Hegeman realized his senate district’s seat was open and decided to run for it.
“I have always felt a desire to give back to the community in Northwest Missouri, and I saw working in the legislature again as a great way to do that,” Hegeman said. “I jumped at the chance to be able to continue serving my region in that capacity, and I really have enjoyed it. I truly look upon this as public service.”
After having such a positive impact during his first time in the legislature, Hegeman’s colleagues were excited to have him back.
“You just can’t meet a nicer and more genuine man to work with,” Sen. Holly Rehder said about Hegeman. “Even during spirited debates on the floor, he has always had that kindness in him when discussing differences on policy.”
“He’s also always willing to sit down with members to answer their questions about the budget or anything else. He is the type of person that is never too busy when it comes to helping someone out.”
Hegeman currently serves on the Local Government and Elections Committee and the Economic Development Committee along with being the Chair of the Budget Committee, among a host of others.
Aside from his extensive efforts to balance the state budget each year, the senator has had success with tort reform, a broadband grant program, reforming tax credits and other business friendly legislation to bring enterprise to Missouri.
“Passing business friendly legislation that makes Missouri a better place to live and work has always been a priority,” Hegeman said. “When we do that, we can attract businesses that provide good paying jobs and address the needs of our communities and constituents.”
Hegeman is also proud of his work on a water resources grant program that helped fund several water drinking projects in Northern Missouri. While he didn’t pass the bill himself, his language for the water resources grant program made it onto another bill that did pass.
“You can get a lot done if you don’t care who gets the credit,” Hegeman said about the bill’s passing.
For Hegeman’s final legislative session in 2022, he plans to focus on additional tort reform to lower the statute of limitations, put efforts towards further securing Missouri’s elections and, of course, balancing the budget.
“Election integrity is really important,” he said. “We do a pretty good job in Missouri with it, but there are some opportunities to do better like with voter ID. The budget will be the biggest thing…but I enjoy that process. I enjoy working with my colleagues to tend to the needs of the state of Missouri and trying to be a frugal and good caretaker of the citizens’ tax dollars”
Upon leaving the legislature, Hegeman said the door is always open for new opportunities. For now, he plans to continue his work with Evergy and spend more time with his family working on the farm.
Additionally, the legislator said he would enjoy using his free time to get more involved in nonprofits and take up a leadership position at his church. He currently resides in Andrew County with his wife and four children, and is a lifelong member of Hope United Church in Cosby.
When asked what the secret is to being a good legislator and what advice he would give to someone considering a run for office, Hegeman said it’s about proper representation.
“I’m a firm believer that the state senators and representatives know best what is needed in their area, much more than some government bureaucrat in Jefferson City or Washington D.C.,” he said.
“So my advice is to be up front and honest about your positions during the campaign so people can genuinely know if they want to vote for you or not. Always keep your district in mind and always do what’s best for your constituents.”