By David Knopf/Richmond News
Previously a congressman representing a largely urban district, Emanuel Cleaver found himself thrust into a new rural role thanks to the Fifth District’s realignment.
In addition to Ray County, the Kansas City Democrat found himself representative for all of Lafayette and Saline counties, an area with interests far different from those of Cleaver constituents in the urban-suburban core of Kansas City, Independence, Raytown, Grandview, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Gladstone.
Cleaver has visited with Ray County voters in person at the Eagleton Center, and done the same in Lafayette and Saline with coffees and appearances, but there was no constant presence.
That will change this month to an extent with the opening of a staffed district office in Higginsville, Cleaver said.
His office, already marked by a bright blue awning, is at 1923 Main St. It will be the site of an open house Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m., but won’t formally be available to constituents on a full-time basis until the end of the month when renovations are completed.
“My goal in opening this office is to make sure I am serving the residents of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline counties to the best of my ability,” Cleaver said in a release from his Kansas City office. “And I think having an office that is geographically close, with a staffer devoted to just those areas, is a positive step in meeting that objective.”