Ashley Bland Manlove (MO-26)

Politics runs in Ashley Bland Manlove’s family. Her uncle is former state Rep. Craig Bland, and her grandmother is former House member and state Sen. Mary Groves Bland.

Bland Manlove, 34, won her own seat in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2018. This year marks her first reelection race to keep the seat representing her native Kansas City.


“The goal is to create real and sustainable solutions to Missouri's issues; with the people being the first priority, not discrimination or capitalism,” says Bland Manlove. “Since my youth, summer months were spent working actively in voter registration drives, knocking on doors, encouraging adults to vote, and various election activities. This was integral to learning how to become effectively engaged in my community.”

Prior to serving in the legislature, Bland Manlove worked in the accounting industry, public and private sector. She also served as an intelligence analyst for the Missouri National Guard. She was recognized in 2013 with the Army Achievement Medal for outstanding service as an intelligence analyst.

In March 2019, The Missouri Times named Bland Manlove as one of the state legislature’s “Freshmen to Watch.” She’s also the only openly LGBTQ+ woman serving in the legislature.

“I am excited to serve the residents of the 26th district with strong leadership and a listening ear as I have had hundreds of meetings with constituents of the 26th and concerned Missouri citizens,” says Bland Manlove. “I stand ready to serve and engage in the hard work of addressing the critical issues that are creating crises in this community. Specifically I am working on addressing the criminal justice system, voter rights, a priority focus on the education of young people in the urban core with an eye on trauma informed supportive services, and job development.”

For more information, go to her campaign website.