Ike Skelton to lead parade in Sikeston

Friday, September 14, 2007

U.S. Representative Ike Skelton, a Democrat representing Missouri's Fourth Congressional District and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, will be the Grand Marshal in this year's Cotton Carnival parade in Sikeston on Sept. 29.

Skelton was tapped to be grand marshal by the Sikeston American Legion based on his position as chair of the Armed Services Committee. In the past week Skelton has been one of the highest profile members of Congress as he has chaired congressional hearings with the U.S. military leader in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker.

Sikeston lies within U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson's district.

Sikeston American Legion Chaplain Blair Moran initiated the process to secure Skelton's appearance after hearing the legislator speak at a national American Legion Convention in March. Moran then asked Emerson's office to extend the invitation, and Skelton accepted.

Emerson, a Republican, said in a prepared statement released Friday that Skelton "has been a friend to the Emerson family for as long as I can remember."

"Ike was more than happy to help her out and attend with her," said Rebecca Loving, spokeswoman for Skelton's office.

Before the parade, Skelton will give an informal speech at a breakfast at the Sikeston American Legion Post, Moran said.

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