JEFFERSON CITY • A shake-up of state government triggered by the departure of former Gov. Eric Greitens in June continued Wednesday after Republican Gov. Mike Parson appointed a lawmaker from southwestern Missouri as the next state treasurer.
Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Cassville, will take over in January when current Treasurer Eric Schmitt officially becomes attorney general.
Although the latest shuffling of statewide elected officials is because of the vacancy created by Attorney General Josh Hawley’s election to the U.S. Senate in November, the overhaul began in June when the scandal-plagued Greitens resigned and was replaced by Parson, who was lieutenant governor at the time.
Along with using his power to name Schmitt and Fitzpatrick to new jobs, Parson also appointed former Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, as his successor as lieutenant governor.
Fitzpatrick’s pending appointment means that only two of Missouri’s statewide elected officers — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican, and Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat — were chosen to do their jobs by voters.
“Scott has built his career, as a small business owner and legislator, with a proven track record of being a wise steward and protector of the people’s money,” Parson said. “From the beginning of this administration, it has been a top priority that we strive to provide stability and instill confidence for all Missourians — that we can and will move forward.”
Fitzpatrick, 31, will leave his post as chairman of the House Budget Committee, which is among the most powerful positions in state government.
As chairman, he has overseen the crafting of the state’s $28 billion spending blueprint for the past two years. The most recent budget boosts spending on kindergarten through grade 12 schools by nearly $99 million and boosts state aid for school transportation costs by $10 million.
The budget also rejected a plan by Greitens to cut state aid to universities by $68 million and includes $700-a-year pay raises for state workers and an extra $350 on top of that for workers at the Department of Corrections.
“As house budget chairman, I’ve worked to protect Missouri taxpayers by passing balanced budgets that eliminate wasteful spending while investing in our shared priorities. As state treasurer, I’ll continue to work each and every day to promote government transparency and efficiency,” Fitzpatrick said.
First elected to the House in 2012, Fitzpatrick represents Barry and portions of Stone and Lawrence counties.
Fitzpatrick is the CEO of MariCorp US., a marine manufacturing and construction company based in Shell Knob, Mo. He and his wife, Mallory, have twin sons, Luke and Carson, age 3.
Fitzpatrick also is on the board of the Missouri State Employees Retirement System, which oversees pension plans for more than 115,000 current and former state workers.
Fitzpatrick was among a handful of Republican lawmakers who were vetted for the $107,746-a-year position, including state Reps. Shamed Dogan of Ballwin, Holly Rehder of Sikeston and Jean Evans of Manchester.
The Legislative Black Caucus lobbied Parson to appoint Dogan, who is the Legislature’s lone black Republican.