(Arlington, VA) — Former U.S. Representative from Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District and current CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Jo Ann Emerson issued the following statement regarding Ike Skelton:
“Ike Skelton was a sage mentor, an exemplary statesman and an inspiration to me and to many in the U.S. Congress. For Bill Emerson and for me, Ike demonstrated the generous spirit and principled leadership that rose so far above partisanship that we could not help but become friends. I was struck by the depth of his convictions — Ike came to Southeast Missouri to support Emerson campaigns despite our membership in opposing parties — and by the depth of his faith — we attended prayer breakfasts together on a weekly basis in the House of Representatives, and I would pick Ike up in the morning and drive him in on those Thursday mornings. My heart goes out to his family, to his ever-loyal former staff, to his friends and to all of those he touched and changed for the better in his years of public service.
“I consider myself exceedingly fortunate to have known Ike and benefited from his example. He had a profound effect on the Armed Services Committee and on Congress in general through his insistence that the common ground and the high ground are one and the same to a U.S. Representative. He leaves a sterling legacy on issues of support for Americans in uniform for which he drew support from every quarter. Ike took his task as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee with the utmost seriousness, and he never forgot for one second the two million Americans depending upon him to do his job so they could do theirs.
“I am saddened my his passing, but knowing Ike as a person of deep and spiritual faith I am also comforted to know he is now with the God he loves in Heaven. Ike Skelton’s time on Earth leaves us with a deep and lasting memory of him and a host of good works by which to remember him.”
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states. NRECA International Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRECA, is dedicated to international economic development through electrification.