Funeral services have been set for later this week for a former western Missouri state lawmaker and former Cass County commissioner.

Then-State Rep. Brian Baker (R-Belton) speaks on the Missouri House floor in Jefferson City on May 9, 2006 (file photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Former State Rep. Brian Baker (R-Belton), who was also a pastor, served three terms in the Missouri House, from 2003-2008. The “North Cass Herald” newspaper reports Baker died Thursday from complications of the coronavirus, quoting friends. The newspaper reports Baker had been suffering from the effects of COVID all month, and that he was recently placed on a ventilator.

State Rep. Doug Richey (R-Excelsior Springs), who met Pastor Baker at seminary in 1998, announced Baker’s death Thursday on Twitter. Representative Richey tells Missourinet that Baker focused first on his family and faith.

“”Brian was a friend that spoke his mind, loved his family, prioritized his faith and sacrificed for anyone. The angst of life is behind him and the joy of Christ is before him,” Richey says.

Baker was first elected to the Missouri House in 2002, after serving on the Belton City Council. Baker was part of the historic Missouri House GOP majority in 2003, with then-Rep. Catherine Hanaway (R-Warson Woods) as Speaker. Democrats had controlled the Missouri House for decades, until the 2002 election. Republicans have controlled the House ever since.

While Representative Baker was known at the Missouri Capitol for being a conservative Republican, he worked across party lines on issues like jobs and transportation. He championed rural jobs in his district and across the state, and worked with then-Governor Bob Holden (D) on the issue.

Baker’s House district included Belton, Raymore, Freeman, Archie and Drexel.

Baker ran for and won a race for Cass County Commissioner in 2008. He served as a county commissioner, after he left Jefferson City.

Visitation for former State Rep. Brian Baker is set for Friday evening from 6-8 at Heartland Family Ministries in Belton. The funeral is Saturday morning at 10:30, at Avenue Family Church in Kansas City.

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