Jefferson City, MO — A 10 year reunion for the historic republican majority of 2002 was held in the House Lounge on Tuesday, January 22.
After a prayer and pledge of allegiance, current House Speaker Tim Jones opened the event with gratitude for the republicans that “began a wave of conservative lawmakers.”
Ken Legan advised the current majority not to become too interested in power.
“Don’t get too enamored with yourself,” Legan said. “Politics is fickle. Be careful how you treat the minority, because one day you might be there yourself.”
LEgan earned laughter from the crowd recalling the troubles of the new majority, which wasn’t adept at committee chairmanships or the speakership.
“I remember I ended up on the Urban Affairs committee,” Legan said. “I told them, I said ‘look nothing personal, but I’m from the country, I’ve never had an Urban Affair in my life.’”
Former House Speaker and President of The Missouri Times, Rod Jetton, recalled working long nights for 3 months with Catherine Hanaway to win the majority.
“It was the hardest, the hardest 3 months of work in my life, including the Marine Corps,” Jetton said. “Catherine and I used to have the fight every night about who was going to go to sleep first, and she usually one.”
Jetton told the audience that no majority would have been won without Hanaway, and appeared to become emotional when recalling her ascendance to the Speakership.
“There is no one I respect or admire more,” Jetton said of Hanaway.
Jetton even recalled Hanaway’s occasional cigar-smoking habit. Recalling that Hanaway frequently referred to Jetton as a “wuss” for refusing to smoke them as well.
Hanaway, the final speaker of the day, thanked her fellow republicans and alluded to the spirit of the pioneers in her address.
“People say that I, or we, were pioneers, and I like that,” Hanaway said. “Pioneers have imagination and they are bold, and my family comes from pioneer stock. You need that kind of attitude to accomplish great things.”
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.