Skelton ties the knot, while the GOP tries to put him in one
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 1, 2009 - U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Lexington, has come under fire from Republicans lately, because the GOP considers the veteran Democrat -- in office since 1977 -- vulnerable; his southwest Missouri seat is deemed Republican-leaning.
But it's unclear how much attention Skelton has been paying to the partisan attacks. Since Saturday, he's been on his honeymoon in Lake of the Ozarks.
Skelton, 77 and a widower, married Patty Martin on Saturday. Martin is a widow and a retired school counselor. The couple got engaged last year.
The pastor doing the honors Skelton's congressional colleague, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City and an ordained pastor.
One unintended "wedding gift" may have been provided by the state's senior Republican, U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., who told reporters last week that Missouri was lucky to have Skelton as chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee.
In response to speculation, a Bond spokeswoman said today that the senator's statement had nothing to do with whether he supported his party's designs on Skelton's seat.
“Surely partisanship hasn’t reached the level where colleagues can’t say nice things about each other -– especially about a man like Congressman Skelton who we all admire," the spokeswoman said, speaking on the senator's behalf.