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Departing Missouri Rep. Kip Kendrick Reflects On His Tenure And The Impact Of Term Limits

State Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, speaks a May 2020 press conference in Jefferson City. Kendrick is leaving the Missouri House to become state Sen.-elect Greg Razer's chief of staff.
Tim Bommel
State Rep. Kip Kendrick speaks at a May press conference in Jefferson City. Kendrick is leaving the Missouri House to become state Sen.-elect Greg Razer's chief of staff.

State Rep. Kip Kendrick is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll about his decision to leave the Missouri House.

Kendrick is a Democrat who represents parts of Boone County. He was reelected to his fourth and final term to the General Assembly’s lower chamber but announced he was resigning in early January to become chief of staff for state Sen.-elect Greg Razer.

Kendrick was the Democrats’ ranking member on the powerful House Budget Committee. He also played a big role in issues involving the University of Missouri-Columbia, which is in his district.

Here’s what Kendrick talked about during the show:

  • His reasoning for joining Razer’s staff, including the fact that senators typically are more powerful than individual members of the House. He also noted that Razer is a big supporter of the University of Missouri-Columbia and has played an active role in transportation issues.
  • Term limits as a big factor in his decision. Kendrick would have been barred from running for a final term in the Missouri House after 2022.
  • Lawmakers’ pay as another issue that could be prompting them to leave early or potential candidates to forgo runs for the Legislature.
  • The possible ways the Legislature could respond in the coming year to Missourians' passage of a constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid.

Kendrick worked in higher education and social services before entering electoral politics in 2014. He was the only candidate to file for the 45th District House seat. The district is heavily Democratic, so winning that primary was tantamount to election.

Kendrick is a native of Monroe City, the population center of Monroe County. That county is historically one of the most Democratic in the state but has tended to vote more Republican in national and state legislative contests.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Kip Kendrick on Twitter: @kip_kendrick

Music: “A Praise Chorus” by Jimmy Eat World

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.