Thursday 16 October 2008
Missouri 9th District has been represented by Kenny Hulshof since 1996. He is standing down from the House of Representatives in order to run as the Republican candidate for Missouri Governor. Although seen as "leaning Republican", as an open seat, the district may be vulnerable to a turnover.
The district includes some significant historical sites. Part of the area - which is in the north east of the state - is known as Little Dixie. It was settled by southerners coming from Virginia and Kentucky. The town of Hannibal was the birthplace of Sam Clemens, better known as Mark Twain - and is the inspiration for "St Petersburg" in his stories of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Other notable products of the area include Champ Clark, Speaker of the House of Representatives 1911-19 and Clarence Cannon, author of one of the most important texts on House procedure - http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,871091,00.html. Fulton, MO is where Winston Churchill made his famous speech about the "Iron Curtain" in 1946.
The district includes many small towns, only Columbia (84,531) is a large city. The other population centres are the western suburbs of St Louis.