On Monday, Maurice Robinson was sworn in as the first African-American Chief of Staff in the Pettis County Clerk's office.

The ceremony was attended by a couple dozen friends, family and church members.

Robinson, who is also an associate pastor at the non-demoninational New Life Church, thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for raising him up to who he is today.

Robinson was born in St. Louis, but calls Sedalia his home.

“I love it, I wouldn't trade no other place for it,” he said, adding that he loves his job and loves working with the public.

Robinson, who recently had one leg amputated, is currently being outfitted with and trained for a customized prosthetic leg at Bothwell Peak Sport & Spine.

When asked if he was excited about his new leg, Robinson responded, “I'm overwhelmed by it,” he said, adding that he had three surgeries in one week. “That just propelled me to go even further after that. I didn't want to, but someone said you have to, because your race is not over yet.”

Pettis County Election Authority Nick La Strada said it was a “huge historical moment” for Robinson, the Clerk's office and Pettis County. “So we're very very proud of that,” La Strada said after the ceremony.

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Being Chief of Staff means that Robinson is second in command. “So when I'm gone, he is acting clerk,” La Strada said. “Each office usually has a chief of staff. It's a lot of responsibility.”

Robinson has worked with La Strada for the past five years, starting as a poll worker, then moving up to an election clerk, before becoming chief of staff on Monday afternoon.

“We're like family,” La Strada stated.

Robinson rose and stood on one leg as a fellow employee steadied him as La Strada administered the oath of office to Robinson, who got emotional towards the conclusion of the brief ceremony.

La Strada's office is currently involved with early voting, as of last week. Registered voters may early vote Monday through Friday from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m.

“Things will start speeding up the last four weeks (before the election),” La Strada noted.

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