Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, announced Sunday evening he will no longer represent District 45.

Kendrick is stepping down to work as the chief of staff for senator-elect Greg Razer, D-Kansas City.

"While this was a difficult decision to make, I am confident it is the right decision and I am excited about this opportunity," Kendrick said in a written release.

The announcement comes less than a month after Kendrick won reelection to the Missouri House, where he's served for the past six years. It would have been his last term, as House members are limited to four terms in office.

In the written statement, Kendrick acknowledged his decision would upset some but stressed his decision was "made in good faith as a way to continue the work that I started six years ago."

He pointed to his experience in the minority party within the legislature, where he served as the ranking minority member for more than three years and sat on the Budget Committee for six.

Kendrick said his focus was on the state's budget and making relationships built on trust, and he felt those goals had helped him become an effective representative for his district. 

He did not shy away from acknowledging the struggles of working within the minority party, but said he'd found ways to be effective. That process took time, though, and he said soon he'll run out of it. 

"In the age of term limits, the seat that I have worked hard to attain and honor to the very best of my ability is two short years from being pulled out from under me," Kendrick said. 

He criticized term limits and said it'd taken him six years to earn the respect needed to be an effective minority representative. He said the complexity of the state budget means institutional knowledge is lost when new representatives come in. 

"The lack of institutional knowledge by elected officials in the House is obvious," he said. "We train up members of the General Assembly only to indiscriminately kick them out the door as they hit their stride. This is not good for democracy, and it is not ideal for effective governing."

Kendrick said his move to work with Razer will help him continue to impact policy in Missouri and build on the foundation he created during his years as a representative. 

"Mostly, I am proud of my work helping constituents navigate state government," he said. "As important as it is to affect state policy, working with the people of the district has been the most rewarding part of the job. The relationships I have developed across the district, the city of Columbia and Boone County have made me a better person and a better representative."

  • Assistant city editor for the state government beat. Reach me at eew3pr@umsystem.edu or 512-348-4539

  • Mark Horvit is the state government editor. Call me at 817-726-1621 with story ideas, tips or complaints.