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Parson picks former state GOP chairman for spot on University of Missouri Board of Curators

Parson picks former state GOP chairman for spot on University of Missouri Board of Curators

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JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday named former state GOP Chairman Todd Graves to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, a move that could stoke controversy as the Missouri Senate weighs his confirmation.

Graves, a founding partner of the politically connected Graves Garrett law firm, will serve in the slot that covers the 6th Congressional District, replacing Curator Phillip H. Snowden, according to a news release.

Graves served as chairman of the Missouri GOP under former Gov. Eric Greitens and angered some when he drained the state party’s coffers as his term ended, the Post-Dispatch reported in 2019.

Graves must win confirmation from the Missouri Senate, but his history in partisan politics could cause turbulence.

A text from an attorney for Missouri Senate Democrats to a member of Parson’s staff said Graves’ appointment would face opposition, the Missouri Independent reported this week.

Parson, who replaced Greitens when he resigned in 2018, has recently cultivated closer ties to Graves. The political action committee that supported Parson’s 2020 election bid recently began using space in a downtown Jefferson City office connected to Graves.

Graves served as U.S. attorney for the western district of Missouri from 2001 to 2006, according to a news release.

The release said Graves has an agricultural economics degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and earned a master’s degree in public administration and his law degree from the University of Virginia.

Parson also appointed Keith Holloway of Cape Girardeau to the Board of Curators; Holloway will replace Curator David Steelman.

Both appointments require approval in the Missouri Senate, which returns to Jefferson City next week after its annual spring break.

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