Former news anchor Mark Alford is quickly adapting to his new role of representing Missouri’s 4th Congressional District. It is the only district in the state that has a new representative in Congress.
“I had no idea two years ago that I would be doing this,” Alford told a local TV station. “Sixteen months ago, this was not on my radar.”
He and his wife, Leslie, already have decided which days he intends to be in Washington and which in the 4th District. “I’m not moving to Washington, D.C.,” Alford said. “I don’t want to be comfortable there. I’m going to sleep in my office.”
He wants to tackle several specific issues, including:
- Rural broadband: “Only about 20 percent of our constituents have high-speed internet.”
- Military bases: “We have two strong military bases in the 4th Congressional District. We’re trying to get on the House Armed Services Committee and the Ag Committee, to make sure that our bases are protected.”
- Farmers: “We need to get the EPA off their backs.”
Alford also has goals for the skillset he says he has to offer. “That’s what I think I’m going to be able to do that other people don’t have the advantage, not having been in the media,” Alford said. “I know how to tell stories.”
Alford, a Republican, recently attended President Donald Trump‘s winter gala at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, drawing the criticism of several local Democrats.
“I have said from the get-go that when we win this office, I will represent all 770,000 people in this district,” Alford said. “I don’t want people to come here and think this is a Republican congressman. I am the congressman for the 4th Congressional District. For all people. I’m listening to all people, everyone’s concerns, everyone is equal when it comes to representation.”
Alford knows he will make mistakes as he transitions into a job he’s never held, comparing it to being a first-time parent.
“You can read all the books in the world, get all the advice, but until you take that baby home ..” he said. “I’m going to try to be the best steward, I think that’s a good word, the best steward I can be of this office.”
–Dwight Widaman | MV