4 of 6 Missouri executive branch offices will soon be held by people who weren’t elected to those posts
By TIM ROWDEN
Jefferson City – The final piece in an unprecedented shuffling among Missouri’s elected executive branch offices was put in place Dec. 19 when Republican Gov. Mike Parson announced he will appoint State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick as state treasurer in January to replace incumbent Eric Schmitt, a Republican from Glendale, whom Parson will appoint to fill the vacancy created when Attorney General Josh Hawley resigns to take the U.S. Senate seat he won in November.
For the last two years, Fitzpatrick (R-Cassville) has chaired the powerful House Budget Committee, a post he was expected to retain during the upcoming General Assembly, which convenes in January. Fitzpatrick, 31, was first elected to the House in 2012 and ran unopposed for re-election to a fourth term in November.
ONLY THE SECOND APPOINTED TREASURER IN STATE HISTORY
Fitzpatrick will be just the second appointed state treasurer in Missouri history. The first was Richard Nacy, who got the job in 1948 following the death of fellow Democrat Robert Winn.
It was Nacy’s second stint as state treasurer. He had previously held the post for a full four-year term after being elected in 1932.
When the statewide shuffle of officeholders ends, four of Missouri’s six elected executive branch offices will be held by people who weren’t elected to those posts.
In addition to Schmitt and Fitzpatrick, Parson also appointed current Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe to fill the vacancy created when Parson left the post to take over as governor following the resignation of disgraced Republican Gov. Eric Greitens in June to avoid impeachment proceedings.
“The only time in Missouri history when more statewide offices were filled by unelected occupants occurred in 1861 when federal troops essentially overthrew the state’s pro-Confederate state government and installed a pro-Union provisional government, which declared most state offices vacant and appointed loyal replacements,” said State Representative Doug Beck (D-Affton), a member of Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562.
Parson, Kehoe, Schmitt and Fitzpatrick all will serve out terms ending in January 2021 and may seek full terms in the 2020 elections.
Parson will have to call a special election to fill Fitzpatrick’s Barry County House seat sometime next year.