Skelton, who represents Missouri's Fourth Congressional District, is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. A Democrat, he has served in the House since 1977.
He will be accompanied by Eighth District Representative Jo Ann Emerson, who described Skelton as a longtime friend of the family. Also she noted the two attend the House Prayer Breakfast together each Thursday while the House of Representatives is in session.
Emerson, a Republican, said having Skelton serve as the grand marshal is an honor for Sikeston. "Everyone who knows Ike knows what a patriot he is, and how deeply he loves our country," said Emerson in a news release. "His presence is going to make this Cotton Carnival truly special."
Blair Moran, chaplain for American Legion Post 114 which sponsors the annual Cotton Carnival, agreed. "We consider it a great honor to have a great man of integrity who holds a position of extreme importance as chairman of the House Armed Services committee as the grand marshal of this year's Cotton Carnival Parade, especially in light of his chairmanship of the congressional hearings with General David Petraeus and the ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker."
Skelton said he appreciated the invitation by Emerson to serve as the parade's grand marshal. "I look forward to the event and meeting with constituents from Missouri's Eighth Congressional District," Skelton said.
In addition to serving as the parade marshal, Skelton will speak to members of the American Legion at a breakfast prior to the parade.