As we say farewell to 2012 and welcome in 2013, I am reminded that I too am preparing to say farewell to the old and hello to the new. Beginning in January, the 9th Congressional District will be no more and I will begin working for the people of the new 3rd Congressional District created by the re-drawing of congressional district lines. The final redistricting following the 2010 census required the elimination of one congressional district and the creation of the new 3rd District to which I was elected to represent this past November.
The new 3rd consists of all or part of the following counties: Callaway, Camden, Cole, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Lincoln, Maries, Miller, Montgomery, Osage, St. Charles and Warren. I will no longer represent Adair, Audrain, Boone, Clark, Crawford, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Randolph, Ralls, Scotland and Shelby counties.
As I prepare to take on the challenges of a new district, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the history of 9th District and its special place in Missouri history. The District was created on March 4, 1863, out of the remnants of the 2nd Congressional District during the Civil War. Since its creation, 21 individuals have held the 9th District seat and during that time, the 9th District boundaries have been redistricted from the 7th District in 1873; the 12th District in 1893; and has twice been redistricted in at-large congressional elections.
The first 9th District congressman was James Sidney Rollins, a Unionist lawyer who helped create the University of Missouri during his time in the Missouri Legislature, where I also had the privilege of serving. For his efforts, Rollins is known today as the “Father of the University of Missouri.” As a member of Congress, Rollins played a role in the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.
The 9th District seat also was held by Champ Clark of Bowling Green, who served from 1893 to 1895 and again from 1897 to 1921. In 1912, Clark had risen to U.S. Speaker of the House and that same year sought the Democratic nomination for president. While he was considered the frontrunner, Woodrow Wilson eventually secured the nomination.
After Clark’s death, his longtime aide Clarence Cannon was elected to the 9th District seat in 1922 and went on to serve 41 years before passing away. Cannon was among other things a champion of rural Americans and rose to become Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, a position he held on and off for 23 years.
I am truly humbled to have followed these and many other noble officeholders in representing the people of the 9th District. I have always made it my goal to meet as many of you as possible and after thousands of meetings and parades and conversations, I truly feel connected to the people of the 9th District and I will miss the opportunities you have provided me over the years. So as I bid farewell to the 9th District and prepare to represent the people of the 3rd Congressional District, I want to thank you for giving me this great privilege of serving as your voice in Washington, D.C.
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