Marilyn Ruestman, former Missouri State Representative and Newton County Presiding Commissioner, was recently honored as the recipient of the 2019 Annie Baxter Award.

Established in 1990, the award is presented annually to a prominent Missouri woman who makes noticeable contributions to her community in the spirit of Annie Baxter.

Baxter was elected as the Jasper County clerk in 1890. She was the first woman to hold elective office in the state of Missouri, and the first female county clerk in the United States.

Ruestman served as district assistant for Congressman Mel Hancock from 1989-96 and as district director for Missouri State Senator Marvin Singleton. She later served as a Republican state representative, representing parts of McDonald and Newton counties in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2003-10.

During her time as a state representative, she was elected the Majority Caucus Secretary in 2005, 2007 and 2009. She was elected treasurer of the freshman class of the 92nd General Assembly, president of the Women Legislators of Missouri and was appointed to the Missouri Women’s Council. She later served two terms as Presiding Commissioner of Newton County.