Amidst all the attention surrounding the federal government shutdown, the President Donald Trump’s administration now has its ambassador to Kenya.
Soon to be former state Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, was confirmed on Wednesday by the U.S. Senate in a voice vote to be the ambassador to Kenya, according to the upper chamber’s daily journal.
McCarter did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
McCarter, a former St. Clair County Board member, was one of 23 people confirmed to ambassador positions on Wednesday in a voice vote.
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He was nominated by Trump to the ambassadorship in March.
He became a state senator in 2009. This past election, McCarter did not run for re-election to his state senate seat.
McCarter and his wife, Victoria, have worked in Kenya for more than 30 years, and founded the Each One Feed One International charity in Tharaka, Kenya. The charity worked with a K-8 elementary school, helped hundreds of abandoned, abused and orphaned children and provided a medical clinic with health care for those with HIV and malaria.
In 2017, all of the Republican members of Illinois’ congressional delegation, including U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, of Collinsville, signed a letter to President Trump recommending McCarter for the ambassador position.
McCarter had challenged Shimkus in the 2016 primary for the congressional seat in the 15th District. However, the challenge was unsuccessful.
After receiving the delegation’s recommendation, McCarter said if he had not received the nomination, he would have considered a run for another office.