Ike Skelton

Official Photo, U.S. House of Representatives

Former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, a champion of the military who served 17 terms in the U.S. House before losing a re-election bid in 2010, has died. He was 81.

Skelton died Monday at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., surrounded by family and friends, including longtime colleague Russell Orban. 

The cause was not immediately released, but Orban says Skelton entered the hospital a week earlier with a cough. Orban confirmed Skelton's death to The Associated Press. 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri House has begun debate on a bill that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

House leaders had intended to hold a first-round vote on the measure Monday, but it was delayed because of the large number of Democrats who spoke against the bill.  Joe Aull (D, Marshall) used former Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton (D) as an example of how he says some elderly citizens could be disenfranchised by the bill.  Aull says Skelton attempted to get a photo ID for himself after the 2006 voter ID law was passed, but he was turned down.

(via Facebook/with permission from Dillon campaign)

An aide to former Democratic Congressman Ike Skelton says he plans to run for Missouri secretary of state.

Ryan Dillon, of Rolla, said Monday that he intends to make job creation and an "open political process" the themes of his campaign.

Hartzler campaign

Missouri's newest members of the U.S. House have continued raising money.

Federal campaign finance reports show Republican Billy Long of Springfield raised roughly $15,000 from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31, 2010. Long reported starting 2011 with $29,000 in his campaign bank account.