Samuel B. Graves, Jr. (born November 7, 1963) is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 6th congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district consists of Northwest Missouri and includes the portion of Kansas City north of the Missouri River and many northern suburbs.
Early life, education and career
Graves is a lifelong resident of Tarkio, a small city not far from the Iowa and Nebraska borders. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.
He is a former volunteer fireman and Eagle Scout. He is also a sixth-generation farmer.
Graves was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1992. After only one term, he was elected to the Missouri Senate in 1994.
Following the economic crisis of Wall Street in September 2008, Graves voted against the proposed bailout of United States financial system, claiming that it neither "punished the wrongdoers nor adequately protected the innocent taxpayers, investors and retirees” caught in the Wall Street banking crisis."
Todd Graves controversy
Graves is the brother of Todd Graves, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. In October 2008, U.S.
Senator Kit Bond apologized to Todd Graves after a U.S. Justice Department report cited Bond forcing Graves out over a disagreement with Representative Graves. Following the report, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other officials involved in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys broke the law (dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy).
In 2009, the House Ethics Committee began inquiring whether or not Graves used his position on the Small Business Committee to invite Brooks Hurst, a longtime friend and a business partner of his wife, to testify at a committee hearing on the federal regulation of biodiesel and ethanol production. Graves had failed to mention the financial link between Hurst and Lesley Graves at the hearing, which dealt with federal subsidies for renewable fuels. A review by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics found "substantial reason to believe that an appearance of conflict of interest was created." Graves said in a statement, "I look forward to a quick review of the facts and answering any questions that the committee may have. I believe that a speedy review will show that all the rules of the House concerning testimony in front of the Small Business Committee were followed." The Office of Congressional Ethics referred the case to the House Ethics committee, which ended its own investigation in October, and released a report finding no ethical violations, as it asserted there was no standard in place for appearances like Hurst's.
In 2000, Democratic U.S.
Representative Pat Danner suddenly retired due to breast cancer. Graves filed within the short period of time left for filing. Graves faced Representative Danner's son, Steve Danner, a former State Senator, in the general election. Graves referred to Danner as a "tax and spend liberal" and won the race with 51% of the vote largely by running up huge margins in the rural areas of the district. He was arguably helped by George W. Bush carrying the district in the 2000 presidential election. Graves easily won reelection in 2002, 2004, and 2006.
Graves faced a tougher reelection race in 2008 against Democratic nominee and former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes. He gained national attention early in the race for running an ad accusing Barnes of promoting "San Francisco values." It was initially considered one of the hottest races in the country. However, Graves won reelection fairly handily, taking 59 percent of the vote to Barnes's 37 percent. Because the district has historically not been considered safe for either party, elections in the district tend to be closely contested.
Graves defeated Democratic nominee Clint Hylton (an Excelsior Springs, Missouri insurance agent who owned a farm in Polo, Missouri) and write-in candidate Kyle Yarber.
December 8th, 2011