U.S. Congressman Sam Graves, R-MO, announced Jan. 3 that he chose Aaron Baker of Atlanta, Mo., as his field representative for northeast Missouri.
As a field representative, Baker will represent Graves when he is unable to be present because of his commitments in Washington, D.C., Baker said.
Baker will be available to hear constituents’ problems regarding passports, Veterans Affairs issues or any complaints about the federal government.
Baker will serve as Graves’ field representative for the 12 counties across northeast Missouri added to the 6th district after the state was redistricted following the 2010 census, according to a press release.
Before representing Graves in Missouri, Baker said he worked for about 10 years at the state level, first as an intern with Rep. John Cauthorn, R-18, and afterwards with Senator Bill Stouffer, R-21. Baker said his experience with Stouffer’s office helped him develop the skills needed to work for Graves.
“It’s the agriculture policy and the farm bureau meetings and seeing the same folks that share your values,” Baker said.
Baker said he was recommended to Graves by the Congressman’s district office because Stouffer’s term was limited and the transition to working for Graves would be natural.
“Aaron’s just a natural fit and will do a great job out there being the eyes and ears and helping make sure that we’re addressing all the concerns and priorities of north Missouri,” Graves’ communication director Jason Klindt said.
In addition to representing Graves, Baker will help plan his visits to the district, which he said take place about every other month, if not more. Graves’ last visit took place Jan. 25 and Baker said there is a good possibility Graves will return sometime during February.
Baker said he and Graves plan to get to know the constituents and the issues they face in the new, eastern part of the district, including the issues involving flooding and lock and dams in the areas around the Mississippi River.
Baker is working to set up his office in Hannibal, Mo., to better represent the eastern counties. Graves has field representatives in Salisbury, Kansas City and St. Joseph, Mo., as well.
Truman State professor, LaRoy Brandt, said he expects Baker to do his job — to represent the needs of constituents and find ways to compromise.
“As far as what I expect would be to see him take steps to try to meet with groups that he’s representing and go from there,” Brandt said. “To find out what the people want in particular and then work with them to develop a strategy or plan to satisfy as many people as possible and do some collaborative compromising.”
Klindt said Graves’ objective is to work with residents in northeast Missouri to find out how to best represent them.
“[Graves] has always been a congressman who believes in coming home and listening to folks back home and representing their views to Washington,” Klindt said.