- Position Held: Missouri Senate, district 17, 2004-present
- Other Elected Offices: Missouri House, 1992-2002; Assistant Minority Whip, 1995-1999; Majority Caucus Chair, 2007
- Party: Republican
- Home City: Smithville, MO
- Birth Date and Place: May 19, 1956; Moberly, MO
- Education: William Woods University and Westminster College, B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in political science and history, 1978; University of Missouri-Kansas City, JD degree, 1981; also studied at American University and Oxford University.
- Family: Husband, Richard Dennis (nee Podbesek); no children.
- Religion: Baptist
- Occupation: Attorney
- Work Experience: Attorney, Ridgeway Law Office, 1987-present; Associate, Wilkms and Millin, 1986-1987; Attorney, Landmark Legal Foundation, 1981-1986
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