U.S. Congressman Sam Graves was sworn into office on January 3 and soon after, he announced the hiring of Aaron Baker of Atlanta as a field representative.
Baker grew up in Atlanta, graduated from Atlanta High School and says his family has lived in the area since the 1840s. "We are local folks for sure," said Baker.
Baker is a 2004 graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Agriculture Economics. After graduating, Baker served as the Chief of Staff to State Senator Bill Stouffer for 8 years. Due to term limits, Stouffer retired and Baker was hired to represent Graves.
Baker compares his job to customer service from the business perspective. "You are the representative of an elected official and want to provide the best customer service as possible," said Baker. "And that's what really excited me about having this type of work—working with the people."
Although Graves has been congressman for awhile, he has never represented the northeast until now.
"We lost a congressman because several other states grew faster than us," said Baker. "Our state didn't lose population in the census, but it is not growing as fast as some of the western states." Since Missouri went from nine congressmen to eight, the districts got larger. Graves' district picked up northeast Missouri which is about 20 percent population wise of his district.
Baker is the primary contact for Adair, Audrain, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike, Ralls, Scotland and Shelby.
"My job is to travel throughout these 12 counties and meet as many people as I can and connect them to the congressman's office," said Baker. "Folks really want to have a direct line to their elected member of congress."