Open main menu

Michael L. Parson (born September 17, 1955) is an American politician and former law enforcement officer currently serving as the 57th Governor of Missouri since June 1, 2018, having taken office after the resignation of Eric Greitens. Parson previously served as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri.[1] Before that, he served as a Republican member of the Missouri House of Representatives from the 133rd district (2005–2011) and as a member of the Missouri Senate representing the 28th district (2011–2017). Parson served as the Majority Caucus Whip in the Senate during the 96th General Assembly.[2]

Mike Parson
Mike Parson.jpg
57th Governor of Missouri
Assumed office
June 1, 2018
LieutenantMike Kehoe
Preceded byEric Greitens
47th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
In office
January 9, 2017 – June 1, 2018
GovernorEric Greitens
Preceded byPeter Kinder
Succeeded byMike Kehoe
Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 28th district
In office
January 5, 2011 – January 4, 2017
Preceded byDelbert Scott
Succeeded bySandy Crawford
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
from the 133rd district
In office
January 5, 2005 – January 5, 2011
Preceded byRonnie Miller
Succeeded bySue Entlicher
Sheriff of Polk County
In office
1993–2005
Preceded byCharles Simmons
Succeeded bySteven Bruce
Personal details
Born (1955-09-17) September 17, 1955 (age 63)
Wheatland, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Teresa Parson
Children2
ResidenceGovernor's Mansion
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park
University of Hawaii at Manoa
WebsiteGovernment website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1975–1981
RankSergeant

Contents

Early life, education, and workEdit

Parson was born on September 17, 1955, in Wheatland, Missouri, and raised on a farm in Hickory County. He graduated from Wheatland High School in 1973.[3]

In 1975 Parson spent six years in the U.S. Army, serving two tours in the Military Police working up to sergeant.[4] He attended night classes at the University of Maryland and the University of Hawaii.[3][5]

Following his military service, in 1981 Parson returned to Hickory County to serve as a deputy. In 1983 he transferred to the Polk County Sheriff's Office to become its first criminal investigator. He purchased his first gasoline station, "Mike's," in 1984. The following year he started a cow and calf operation, becoming a third-generation farmer.[6][4] Parson served 12 years as Polk County sheriff before being elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004.[7]

Missouri LegislatureEdit

Parson was first elected to the 133rd District in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004.[3] He was subsequently re-elected in 2006 and 2008. In 2007 Parson co-sponsored a bill to expand Castle doctrine rights.[8]

In 2010 Parson signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to raise any taxes.[9]

 
Parson in 2012

In 2010, Parson was elected to his first term in the Missouri Senate. Parson first survived a tough primary campaign against two fellow Republican state representatives, Ed Emery and Larry Wilson. In the November general election, he defeated Constitution Party candidate Bennie Hatfield.[10]

He won re-election in 2014, running unopposed in both the primary and general election.[11] Parson successfully helped shepherd a state constitutional "right-to-farm" amendment that guaranteed the "rights of Missourians to engage in farming and ranching practices."[4]

Notable committee assignmentsEdit

Committee Title Years(s)
Small Business, Insurance and Industry Vice chair 2011–2014
Chair 2015
Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Vice chair 2011–2012
Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Chair 2013–2014

Lieutenant Governor of MissouriEdit

 
Parson with Sonny Perdue in 2017

CampaignEdit

Parson initially announced he would run for governor in 2016, but opted to run for lieutenant governor instead.[12] After defeating two opponents in the Republican primaries, he faced Democratic former U.S. Representative Russ Carnahan, whom he defeated in the general election on November 8, 2016. He received the most votes of any lieutenant governor in Missouri history, winning 110 of Missouri's 114 counties.[6]

His campaign highlighted five core issues: protecting Second Amendment rights, preventing wasteful government spending, promoting agricultural industry, opposing abortions, and growing the economy.[13]

During his campaign, Parson was criticized by his former chief of staff for allegedly proposing legislation on behalf of a lobbyist and a $50,000 plan to employ a valet for his vehicle. Parson claimed his former staffer was a "disgruntled former employee".[14]

TenureEdit

Parson was sworn in along with Governor Eric Greitens on January 9, 2017. Noting that the Lieutenant Governor's office had not been upgraded in the past 12 years, Parson approved $54,000 in remodeling and renovation costs within his first two months.[15]

In 2017 Parson sought a $125,000 increase to his $463,000 budget, which included $35,000 to reimburse him for travel mileage during state business. He also sought $10,000 for out-of-state travel.[15] In 2018 he asked for an additional $25,000 to pay for a part-time personal driver but decreased his overall budget request to $541,000. In response to criticism, his office has routinely stated that his office and salary is the smallest of any statewide elected Missouri official.[16][17]

In August 2017 multiple outlets reported that Parson was the only statewide elected official to accept gifts from a lobbyist. During his run for governor, Greitens called for a prohibition on lobbyist gifts. Parson's predecessor, Peter Kinder, also accepted gifts.[18][19]

Following the allegations of improper care at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. Louis, which were first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in October 2017, Parson's office immediately launched an investigation.[20][21]

On February 22, 2018, Greitens was indicted on felony invasion of privacy charges.[22] The indictment came a month after Greitens disclosed an extramarital affair, which only increased speculation that Parson could succeed Greitens should he step aside or be removed.[23][24]

Governor of MissouriEdit

TenureEdit

On May 29, 2018, Governor Eric Greitens announced that he would be resigning, effective at 5 p.m. on June 1, 2018. Parson was sworn in half an hour later as Governor of Missouri.[25]

On June 18, 2018, Parson appointed fellow Republican Mike Kehoe, Missouri Senate Majority Leader, as Lieutenant Governor. The appointment comes with legal uncertainty, as the Constitution of Missouri states that the governor can fill all vacancies "other than in the offices of lieutenant governor, state senator or representative, sheriff, or recorder of deeds in the city of St. Louis". However, Parson stated that he believed that the Constitution gave him authority to tap Kehoe as lieutenant governor.[26][27] On June 19, 2018, the Missouri Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in an attempt to undo Kehoe's appointment.[28] The Democrats lost their lawsuit in the Cole County Circuit Court due to a lack of standing and the vagueness of the state law which states it can't be done but does not provide a process to fill the position. The lawsuit is currently on appeal in the Missouri Supreme Court, Appeal No. SC97284,[29] with oral argument scheduled for November 7, 2018.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1985 he married his wife, Teresa. They have two children and lived in Bolivar, Missouri.[4]

He endorsed Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential election and Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.[30][31]

Electoral historyEdit

Missouri 28th District State Senator Republican Primary 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Parson 14,518 47.4%
Republican Larry Wilson 9,590 31.3%
Republican Ed Emery 6,533 21.3%
Missouri 28th District State Senator General Election 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Parson 47,380 83.7%
Constitution Bennie B. Hatfield 9,213 16.3%
  • Unopposed for the 28th District seat in 2014
Missouri Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary 2016[32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Parson 331,367 51.505%
Republican Bev Randles 282,134 43.852%
Republican AC Dienoff 29,872 4.643%
Missouri Lieutenant Governor Election 2016[32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Parson 1,495,392 52.9%
Democratic Russ Carnahan 1,168,947 42.3%
Libertarian Steven R. Hedrick 69,253 2.5%
Green Jennifer Leach 66,490 2.405%

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gov. Eric Greitens resigns effective June 1. A look at his rise and fall". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Senator Mike Parson". Senate.mo.gov. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d "Meet Mike". Mike Parson for Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  5. ^ Psaledakis, Daphne. "Missouri's possible next governor Mike Parson described as 'a straight shooter'". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Biography Mike Parson - Missouri Office of the Lieutenant Governor". Missouri Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "History of the Sheriff". Polkcountymosheriff.org. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Missouri, meet your new statewide officeholders". stltoday.com. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  9. ^ "State Taxpayer Protection Pledge List_CURRENT_2011". docshare.tips. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  10. ^ "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". Sos.mo.gov. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Previous Elections". sos.mo.gov. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  12. ^ McDermott, Kevin. "Republican Mike Parson adds his name to race for Missouri governor". stltoday.com. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  13. ^ "issues". Mike Parson for Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  14. ^ "Former Mike Parson chief of staff says no way he's voting for him this year". kansascity. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Erickson, Kurt. "Remodeling of Missouri's lieutenant governor's office tops $50,000". stltoday.com. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  16. ^ Erickson, Kurt. "Missouri's lieutenant governor wants a personal driver". stltoday.com. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  17. ^ KY3. "Lt. Gov. Mike Parson sets record straight about requesting money for a driver". Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  18. ^ Erickson, Kurt. "Missouri's lieutenant governor is lone statewide official who takes lobbyists gifts". stltoday.com. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  19. ^ "Missouri lieutenant governor alone accepts lobbyists' gifts". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  20. ^ Messenger, Tony. "Messenger: Volunteers, families allege poor care at St. Louis Veterans Home". stltoday.com. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  21. ^ "Lt. Governor announces investigation into allegations of improper care at St. Louis Veterans Home". FOX2now.com. November 1, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  22. ^ Held, Kevin. "Gov. Eric Greitens indicted for invasion of privacy". Fox 2 St. Louis. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  23. ^ "What happens if Greitens is out and Parson moves up?". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Parker, Joey (February 23, 2018). "Lawmakers could impeach Gov. Greitens regardless of guilt". KMIZ. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  25. ^ Erickson, Kurt (June 1, 2018). "Mike Parson pledges fresh start as he is sworn in as Missouri's new governor". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  26. ^ "Gov. Parson picks his replacement as lieutenant governor, reopening a legal debate". kansascity. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  27. ^ "State senator Mike Kehoe appointed Missouri lieutenant governor". FOX2now.com. 2018-06-18. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  28. ^ "Missouri Democrats sue over Lt. Gov. appointment". KSDK. Associated Press. June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Appellants' Brief. Darrell Cope and the Missouri Democratic Party v. Michael L. Parson and Mike Kehoe, S.W.3d (Mo. August 13, 2018).
  30. ^ "Mitt Romney: Press Release - Mitt Romney Announces Support of Missouri Leaders". ucsb.edu. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  31. ^ "Donald Trump picks up slew of Missouri Republican endorsements". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  32. ^ a b IT, Missouri Secretary of State -. "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". Enrarchives.sos.mo.gov. Retrieved January 17, 2018.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Simmons
Sheriff of Polk County
1993–2005
Succeeded by
Steven Bruce
Preceded by
Peter Kinder
Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
2017–2018
Succeeded by
Mike Kehoe
Preceded by
Eric Greitens
Governor of Missouri
2018–present
Incumbent
Missouri House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ronnie Miller
Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
from the 133rd district

2005–2011
Succeeded by
Sue Entlicher
Missouri Senate
Preceded by
Delbert Scott
Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 28th district

2011–2017
Succeeded by
Sandy Crawford
Party political offices
Preceded by
Peter Kinder
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Missouri
2016
Most recent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Missouri
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Paul Ryan
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Paul LePage
as Governor of Maine
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Missouri
Succeeded by
Asa Hutchinson
as Governor of Arkansas