March 18, 2019

THE MISSOURI SUNTIMES: Freshmen to Watch: Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove

With the inspiration of her grandmother and mother guiding her, state Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove brings another generation of public service to the legislature. And at times, she still gets emotional as she remembers she is walking in the footsteps of her family.

Manlove’s interest in politics began with her family: her grandmother, Mary Groves Bland, served as both a state representative and senator; her uncle, Craig Bland, served in the state House.

With that notable history of public service in her family influencing her, Manlove is already familiar with the sense of duty that comes along with being a representative. Combining that with her time in the National Guard, Manlove makes it known that state government is in her mind, and she is glad to serve.

“There’s always been a strong sense of community service in my family. Of course with the lineage of my grandmother and my uncle both holding seats in the House and in the Senate, community service has always been in the forefront of my mind,” Manlove explained. “So when I was approached to run, I gladly said, ‘yes.’ I like to use the phrase that ‘I served the great state of Missouri once in the National Guard, and I’m happy to serve it again.’”

According to Manlove, her grandmother’s influence was only second to that of her mother’s. Spending a great deal of time with her grandmother as a child, Manlove was exposed to Capitol culture and the legislative process at a very young age.