By Allen Edmonds
Former State Representative and Cass County Commissioner Brian Baker, a well-known figure in local politics during the first decade of the 2000s, died Thursday afternoon of complications from COVID-19, according to friends.
He had been suffering from the effects of the virus throughout the month. It worsened significantly in the past few days, and he was recently placed on a ventilator.
“Brian Baker was a mentor to me in my political service,” said Jimmy Odom, two-term Belton mayor and former North District Cass County Commissioner.
Odom succeeded Baker in the North District seat in 2012, when he chose to concentrate his professional efforts in the private sector.
“The comfort that I have during this sad time is that Brian was a believer in Jesus Christ and lived his faith in the public arena. I will miss him deeply,” Odom said.
Baker was elected to the Belton City Council in 2000, then won his seat in the Missouri General Assembly in 2002, representing Belton. He served two terms in the House, before running successfully for the North District County Commission seat in 2008.
Baker also served as an associate pastor and youth pastor at Belton’s First Baptist Church, and coached at taught at Heartland Academy. Baker's father, David also died late last year. He had also been ill with complications from COVID, according to a family member at the time.
Services have yet to be announced.