PORTAGEVILLE, Mo.- A state lawmaker who represents the Bootheel says he eats breakfast every morning at the diner mentioned by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens during his 2017 State of the State Address.

State Rep. Don Rone (right) speaks to Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth at Katie’s Diner in Portageville on November 14, 2017 (Ashley Byrd photo)

Katie’s Diner in Portageville is in State Rep. Don Rone’s legislative district.

“If you want to come in here (Katie’s) at 6 o’clock (in the morning), the Democrats are here,” Rone says. “If you come in between 7 and 7:30, the Republicans are here.”

Greitens mentioned the diner during his January State of the State, telling Missouri lawmakers that he met many people there during his 2016 campaign who had to travel to Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky for jobs or to look for work.

Greitens then called on lawmakers to approve right-to-work legislation, saying it would help southeast Missouri residents find jobs locally.

As for Representative Rone, R-Portageville, he tells Missourinet everyone in southeast Missouri who needs help on an issue knows they can find him at the diner during breakfast.

Rone says he eats breakfast there every weekday, adding that it’s packed.

“Everybody down here (the Bootheel) knows if they want to see me, they can come to Katie’s Diner at 7:30 in the morning and I’ll be either coming in or going out,” says Rone.

Rone recently did an interview with Missourinet, inside the diner. It took ten minutes for the interview to even start, because of the number of diners approaching Rone for assistance or to comment on legislative issues.

“It does have the finest french toast, that you’ve ever eaten,” Rone says. “She (Katie) fixes a mean hamburger. It’s just a good, a lot of farmers come in. A lot of meals go out that back (drive-through) window.”

Rone says the farmers call in their orders and pick them up.

Governor Greitens told lawmakers that the diners he met during the 2016 campaign wanted to work and did not want welfare.

Rone represents impoverished New Madrid, Mississippi, Pemiscot and Scott counties in the Missouri House.

Greitens notes nine of the state’s top ten poorest counties are in southeast Missouri.