By TIM ROWDEN
Jefferson City – State Rep. John McCaherty (R-Fenton) unexpectedly resigned from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sept. 18. His Sept. 15 resignation letter mentioned no reason for his departure, and its submission on a Friday night sparked speculation as to why.
McCaherty, who was serving his fourth and final House term allowed under term limits, told The Kansas City Star on Sept. 16 that he was leaving to focus on his 2018 campaign for Jefferson County executive.
“It’s a challenge to do your regular job, the state job and county executive stuff and doing a good job at all of it,” he said.
McCaherty has been a friend to working families in the State Legislature, even sustaining attacks from his own party for consistently voting against the phony “right-to-work,” which he had said went against the Republican platform of less government by inserting government into the employer/employee relationship.
“A lot of my colleagues in the House say it’s more conservative to destroy the unions with ‘right-to-work,’” McCaherty told members of the South St. Louis County Labor Club following the legislature’s failed effort to pass “right-to-work” in 2015. “I think it’s more conservative to let you guys do what you do.”
Without unions, McCaherty said, “Who’s going to train our workforce? Where are companies going to find the right trained workers? This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue; this is about jobs.”
McCaherty’s House term runs through 2018.
Governor Eric Greitens will have to call a special election to fill the vacancy. That probably won’t take place until February at the earliest. The next legislative session begins Jan. 3.