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US Senate Confirms Kyle McCarter, John Milhiser, to New Posts

Sam Dunklau
NPR Illinois 91.9 FM
From top, State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R, Lebanon) and acting US Attorney for the Central District of Illinois John Milhiser

An Illinois politician is going to Africa, after the U-S Senate approved an ambassadorship for outgoing state Senator Kyle McCarter. The Senate also confirmed a former State’s Attorney to be the next US Attorney for Central Illinois.

President Donald Trump nominated McCarter to be the US Ambassador to Kenya. That happened in March, and it took the Senate nine months to approve the appointment.

At his confirmation hearing last summer, Senate Democrats had pointed questions for McCarter about his socially conservative religious views, expressed in his past votes against LGBTQ+ rights. They also grilled the state Senator about a post-election tweet suggesting Hillary Clinton be sent to prison.

McCarter told the Senators he’s ready to help Kenya take on its challenges, no matter his personal views.

“I will use my experiences in business, public service, and philanthropy to build on the already strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Kenya," he told the committee. "I will continue to demonstrate the goodwill and generosity of the American people.”

McCarter has long had ties to Kenya. His family charity, Each One Feed One, has operated there for more than 30 years. He’s also fluent in Swahili, one of Kenya's official languages.

McCarter will succeed current U.S. ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, who was appointed by former President Obama in 2012.

The US Senate also confirmed Former Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser as the new US Attorney for Central Illinois. He's been serving in the post in an acting capacity since October.

Milhiser has worked in the office since 1997, and served as the State's Attorney himself since 2010.

Sam is a Public Affairs Reporting intern for spring 2018, working out the NPR Illinois Statehouse bureau.
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