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Rep. Robert Sauls praises the formation of Missouri’s first Latino Caucus

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State Rep. Robert Sauls, D-Independence, speaks earlier this year on the Missouri House floor.
Tim Bommel
House Communications
State Rep. Robert Sauls, D-Independence, speaks earlier this year on the Missouri House floor.

State Rep. Robert Sauls is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Independence Democrat joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Sarah Kellogg and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the formation of the Missouri Democratic Party’s Latino Caucus and what’s ahead in the 2022 legislative session.

Sauls is an attorney who represents Missouri’s 21st District, which takes in a portion of Independence. He’s served in the Missouri House since 2018.

Here’s what Sauls talked about on the program:

  • The need for Missouri Democrats to form a Latino Caucus — and how it may change the way the state party tackles issues like immigration.
  • With the start of the 2022 legislative session just a couple of months away, Sauls pointed to areas where he thinks bipartisanship is possible, especially in the House Judiciary Committee, which handles criminal justice issues.
  • Why he thinks Independence, which has been a Democratic stronghold for generations, has become more competitive in recent years.
  • Potentially contentious congressional redistricting, including a possible battle over Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s Kansas City-based district.

Sauls is a fourth-generation resident of Independence. Before he ran for the Missouri House, Sauls worked as both a public defender and in the Jackson County prosecutor’s office.

In 2018, Sauls won a Democratic primary for the open 21st District seat and faced no GOP opposition the General Election. But things were markedly different in 2020, as he defeated Republican Vicky Riley by only 36 votes. That result showcases how Republicans have gained ground in Independence over the past few elections.

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Robert Sauls on Twitter: @RobertESauls

Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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