Missouri Democrats sue over lt. governor appointment

1 year 9 months 1 week ago Tuesday, June 19 2018 Jun 19, 2018 Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:10:00 AM CDT June 19, 2018 in News
By: Joe Ward KOMU 8 Digital Producer, David Estrada KOMU 8 Reporter & The Associated Press
loading

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Democratic Party and a World War II veteran are suing to block the appointment of Mike Kehoe as lieutenant governor.

The suit, announced in a press release Tuesday, reopens a longstanding legal debate over whether the governor has the power to appoint someone to the second-ranking executive position.

Darrell Cope, a WWII veteran and Missouri voter from Hartville, is the lead plaintiff on the suit. He said in the press release he earned his right to vote for state leaders.

“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.

Traditionally the lieutenant governor serves as the Missouri’s veterans advocate. According to the lieutenant governor’s website, “The priority for this office is to increase awareness of programs the State of Missouri and Federal Government have available to assist Veterans and their families.”

Gov. Mike Parson appointed former Senate Majority Floor Leader Kehoe as the state’s lieutenant governor Monday. Kehoe took the oath of office soon after. The two offices are elected separately in Missouri, and the state constitution isn’t clear on succession.

The suit, filed in Cole County, asks the circuit court to declare Parson’s action illegal. It cites a Missouri Revised Statute from 2011.

The statute says, “Whenever any vacancy, caused in any manner or by any means whatsoever, occurs or exists in any state or county office originally filled by election of the people, other than in the offices of lieutenant governor, state senator or representative, sheriff, or recorder of deeds in the city of St. Louis, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the governor.”

Cope said in a phone interview that if the power to appoint is not in the constitution, Parson should have let the people decide.

“I think he should have called a special election and allow the people to vote on who they want for their lieutenant governor,” Cope said.

Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber said in the press release that Parson has flipped his thought on the issue.

“As a State Senator, Mike Parson voted to hold an election in this exact situation,” Webber said. “It’s disappointing that Parson is willing to abandon his beliefs to grab more power for his political buddies.”

The press release said Kehoe also voted for there to be an election if the lieutenant governor’s office was vacated.

The lawsuit said appointing Kehoe now gives him an advantage over others running for the office in 2020.

“If Governor Parson is permitted to appoint a Lieutenant Governor, then Mike Kehoe will be in a position to run as an incumbent Lieutenant Governor in 2020,” the lawsuit said. “Incumbent elected officials have significant fundraising and name recognition advantages over challengers.”

The lieutenant governor’s office was vacated June 1, when Parson ascended to the top spot after former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned.



More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Starting April 2, Jefferson City Schools is offering meals to students impacted by school closures. Students from... More >>
20 minutes ago Thursday, April 02 2020 Apr 2, 2020 Thursday, April 02, 2020 8:15:00 AM CDT April 02, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Three separate MU Zoom sessions were disrupted by individuals who entered the meetings uninvited and used "discriminatory... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 8:59:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
CUBA, Mo. (AP) — An eastern Missouri man was charged with making a terrorist threat after he allegedly coughed toward... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 8:22:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – As the COVID-19 pandemic forces more people to stay indoors, the beautiful weather is still drawing plenty of... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 6:24:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Paying rent has become a challenge for thousands of Missourians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 5:49:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - COVID-19 has already changed many aspects of daily life, from visiting restaurants to attending school. Now, first responders... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 5:09:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson addressed the public at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, saying the state plans to restrict... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 3:45:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in Top Stories
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:49:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Moniteau County Police chased down and arrested two people in a stolen car for multiple charges,... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:30:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
FAYETTE - Central Methodist University took steps to help rural Missouri medical professionals in the midst of COVID-19 by donating... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:04:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - COMO Youth Soccer, Sporting Columbia and Columbia Select started hosting daily practices using Zoom back when school got... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 1:24:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in Top Stories
(CNN) -- Postponing Tokyo 2020 will have provided a sense of relief to many Olympians but the delay in the... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 12:51:47 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public School district announced Wednesday it's putting classes on pause through the end of the week... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 10:11:00 AM CDT April 01, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - As the weather gets warmer and plants continue to bloom, season allergies will become more of an issue... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 5:51:00 AM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
In this COVID-19 town hall, KOMU 8's Emily Spain talks with Graham McCaulley about how the ongoing pandemic has affected... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:42:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - For Scott Denson, music is his escape from reality. And, during this global pandemic he knew he wasn't... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:38:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Kansas City Council woman Alissia Canady is running as a Democrat for Missouri lieutenant... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:57:41 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
9am 56°
10am 58°
11am 61°
12pm 63°