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On Friday night at a dinner event in Warrenburg the Johnson County Democratic Committee presented Missouri Secretary of State (and announced candidate for the open United States Senate seat in 2010) Robin Carnahan (D) with the James Kirkpatrick Heritage Award for her exemplary record of public service.

Chuck Owings, Centerview, with Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Introductory speakers included former state representative Deleta Williams (D – Warrensburg), Deputy Missouri Attorney General Joe Dandurand, and Mike Carey, Warrensburg, a former staffer for Robin Carnahan’s 2008 campaign.

Approximately 200 people attended the Johnson County Democratic Committee dinner.

Robin Carnahan and Courtney Cole (right), Warrensburg, a member of the Missouri State Democratic Committee.

Irish music performed by the Schoolhouse Pickers, a local folk group.

Excerpts from Robin Carnahan’s remarks:

…Many days I’m in the James C. Kirkpatrick office building. When I walk in the door the first picture I see is Jimmy Kirkpatrick. And the work ethic that he imbued in that office lives on today…and it’s such a wonderful thing to go into a place where folks understand that their job is to provide terrific service. Jim so much knew that government was about getting things done for folks. And the folks that work in that office understand that even today. It’s really fun for me, because there are employees that have worked there for thirty years, forty years, really incredible. And they’ll come up and tell me stories about Kirkpatrick…

…And I think Jimmy would be proud about some of the things that we’ve been able to do. To continue that legacy of great service, to be efficient in what we do in government, and to just get the job done…

…another terrific public servant, of course, was Tom Eagleton…and he said something that has always stuck with me, just as Jim’s commitment to great public service. And that is, he said, you know, “Politics is the art of self government. And if good people don’t study it, and learn it, and practice it, then government will be abandoned to those of lesser motive.” That’s really true, isn’t it. If good people don’t stand up and say, “I’ll take this time to serve my community,” then we get others who serve for other reasons.

And I’ll tell you, that’s one of the reasons I decided to jump in and run for this senate seat. When Senator Bond made his announcement, the opportunity to serve in this unique time in our history is something that I’ve never seen. I think none of us have really seen that. Because there are so many things going on that I think, in our life times, we’ve seen nothing quite like it…

…It’s not about partisan bickering, it’s about getting stuff done. That’s what we need. We need a lot less of this partisan nonsense and a lot more of folks focused on solutions…

…At the top of my list is getting this economy going again, and going in a way that works for everyone…

…I don’t accept that we can’t do better at providing health care for everyone. I don’t accept that we can’t figure out ways to have alternative fuels so that we’re not dependent on foreign oil…And I’m not convinced that we can’t have an education system that rivals any place on earth…

…To do things that are at least as good as our people. We’ve had too much of the other side. And so now we have the opportunity, and I know it seems like a long way away, it’s eighteen months. And we’ve just gotten through this long, long campaign. And we’re all kinda tired. But eighteen months is a short period of time for what we have to do. And I wish that I could tell you that this was gonna be easy…It’s gonna be a fight…

..It’s not just about me winning or losing an election. I know both sides of that. And I’m gonna have a happy life no matter what. This is about the future direction of our country. And to be able to consolidate and to continue with the agenda that needs to be pushed. We all know that. We all know that. And guess what folks? Working together we can all do it…

Doris Kirkpatrick presents Robin Carnahan with the James Kirkpatrick Heritage Award.