Gov. Eric Grietens' shocking resignation on Tuesday elicited an array of emotions from Missourians following nearly five months of political and legal scandal.
Lt. Gov. Mike Parson will be sworn in as Missouri’s new governor Friday at 5 p.m. This comes after accusations against Greitens of sexual misconduct related to a 2015 extramarital affair, and alleged campaign finance violations involving donor lists tied to Greitens’ nonprofit The Mission Continues.
After months of turmoil, lawmaker support at the Statehouse began to atrophy, leaving Greitens to face potential impeachment.
A day after Greitens’ announcement, many St. Louis-area residents said that while they were surprised by the news, the resignation felt like a long time coming.
Here are some reactions we heard Wednesday:
Trish Gunby, social justice coordinator at Manchester United Methodist Church
“Well, I feel like his actions were long overdue, and I wish that he had done it sooner to spare the citizens of Missouri and his family all the anguish that everybody went through.”
“He did not have the support, even of his own party, and I think that says something, when your own party is not willing to work with you. I think he upset some folks early on and kind of separated himself from career politicians, so to speak, and thought he could do things on his own and realized that — not just politics but in anything — you have to work with people. And so that was concerning even if I didn’t agree with his policies. If people in his own party were not willing to work with him, that was concerning.”
Louis Liebermann, unemployed
“I think it was a witch hunt.”
“I think he had no chance, I think the deck was stacked against him because of his religion and his patriotism.”
Jimmy Loomis, business development specialist and president of Clayton Township Democratic Club
“I think this is what we see when we see people run as outsiders, right? They come in on a white horse crusading, quite literally blowing up the place that they want to lead, and this is what happens. Is anyone surprised? I don’t think so, and I hope people consider what kind of qualifications they want their leader to have in the future before electing them.”
Chuck Nagelvoort, financial advisor
“So, in 2016 I lived in St. Charles, Missouri, and I’d been living there for a number of years. And, I voted for Governor Greitens at the time. I identified with him rather closely. I was in the Navy, and so was he. I was a police officer, and he was very pro law enforcement, which I thought was one of the pivotal issues that triggered my vote for him.”
“I’m really saddened that someone that looked to me, and may still well be a very well qualified, intelligent leader is no longer leading. For whatever reason, he’s been convicted in the court of public opinion. And, I’m not sure what the answer is, but here again we’ve got someone who has military experience, Rhodes Scholar, has done a lot of humanitarian work and he’s no longer available to us as a leader, and that’s just very saddening to me.”
Jim Danaher, investment consultant at Conduent HR Services
“I really thought that this was going to become a much longer process and that we probably were headed for impeachment proceedings, so I’m glad that he finally, sort of, took the high road.”
Kim Kirn, mediator and arbitrator at United States Arbitration and Mediation Services
“I was really surprised. I mean, he had fought so long with all these different controversies. I was really surprised that this was the one that — maybe the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
James Stroup, retired machinist
“I was surprised and delighted that he resigned. I thought that was what he should do, and I think that most of the people in the state would agree with that.”
I was very disappointed in his actions on a number of fronts as governor. I was disappointed, first off, that he signed the right to work bill, which I see — you know, it’s a money grab, it’s nothing to do with the right to work. It’s only about the right to lower the wages of everybody in the state.”
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This report was informed, in part, by the Public Insight Network. Click here to see more responses from PIN sources.
Linda Lockhart contributed to this report.
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