Judge dismisses lawsuit on Parson's appointment of lieutenant governor
COLUMBIA - A Cole County judge has dismissed a lawsuit which claimed Gov. Mike Parson acted outside his authority when he appointed Mike Kehoe as his lieutenant governor.
Governor Mike Parson released a statement saying he applauds the court's "expedient" decision to dismiss.
"This affirms our position as well as the position of previous Governors from both parties. We look forward to continuing our work with Lieutenant Governor Kehoe," he said.
The Missouri Democratic Party sued on behalf of veteran Darrell Cope, who said it should be voters who decide who leads the state.
“I don't need Republican politicians picking the state veterans advocate in back room deals. I want an opportunity to vote for my lieutenant governor, and as a World War II combat veteran I’ve earned that right,” Cope said in a press release last month.
The lawsuit contended Kehoe's appointment violated Missouri's constitution.
Solicitor John Sauer of the Attorney General's office argued Missouri’s constitution does give the governor the authority to appoint a lieutenant governor under article four section four, because it authorizes the governor to fill vacancies in all public offices.
According to Missouri’s constitution, the governor has the authority to “fill all vacancies in public offices unless otherwise provided by law, and his appointees shall serve until their successors are duly elected or appointed and qualified.”