LOOKING BACK: In Robb's career, 'a zeal for economics'

Monday, September 26, 2011 | 5:45 p.m. CDT
Ed Robb speaks to a small crowd at the Boone Government Center after being sworn in as presiding Boone County commissioner Jan. 1.

COLUMBIA — Boone County Presiding Commissioner and former Missouri House Rep. Ed Robb died Saturday after collapsing while leaving a party.

Robb, who moved to Columbia in 1972 to take a position as director of MU’s new Economic Research Center, took an interest in economics while in college. He later opened Edward H. Robb and Associates, consulting for the state on economic policy for more than 20 years.

Robb told the Missourian that after he scored the best grade in his Economics for Engineers course during his sophomore year of college, he knew his life had changed for good.

"I was hooked," Robb told the Missourian. "My professor created for me a zeal for economics I didn’t think was possible."

Robb represented the 24th District in the Missouri House of Representatives, and when he was elected in 2004, he was the first Republican to hold the seat since 1982. He was re-elected in 2006 but lost in 2008 to Democrat Chris Kelly by 411 votes. Robb raised $170,000 in a campaign that set records for fundraising.

In 2010, Robb ran for Boone County presiding commissioner and beat Democrat J. Scott Christianson by a margin of 528 votes.

Boone County commissioners held a special meeting Monday to discuss the division of duties. Boone County Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin, a National Guard reservist, will report for active duty Dec. 2, which would leave only one commissioner if Gov. Jay Nixon doesn't appoint a new presiding commissioner before then.

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