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Mo. House Speaker Tilley resigns from office

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio
Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) addresses reporters at a press conference during the 2011 legislative session. Tilley announced his resignation as Speaker on 8/13/2012.

Updated 6:07 p.m. with comments from House Maj. Floor Leader Tim Jones.

Updated 2:32 p.m. with letter.

Updated 12:47 p.m. with details from Tilley press release.

Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) is resigning today as both a member of the Missouri House and as Speaker, effective this evening at 11:59 p.m.

A staff member at Tilley's office confirmed the news shortly before 11:50 a.m., and said that a press release was being sent out.  Tilley was first elected to the House in 2004 and served as Majority Floor Leader from 2008-2010.  He had initially planned to run for Lt. Governor, but announced last year that he would not seek that office.

Tilley's term in office was set to expire at the end of the year, as he was barred from seeking re-election due to term limits.  Current Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R, Eureka) is set to become House Speaker next year, assuming Republicans hold on to their majority.

“I’ve been preparing for this transition for some time, working with Speaker Tilley," Jones said.  "Therefore, I am prepared to take on the mantle of Speaker whenever the caucus determines that.”

In a separate letter to Governor Jay Nixon (D), Tilley said that Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) will perform the duties of Speaker until a new one is chosen.  That could happen as early as next month when lawmakers return to Jefferson City for their annual veto session.  Jones says it’s possible that Schoeller would prefer to focus on his Secretary of State campaign and let someone else serve as House Speaker for the next few months.  Schoeller has so far been unavailable for comment. 

Here is a letter Tilley wrote to his colleagues regarding his resignation, via Tilley's office:

Resignation letter of Mo. Speaker of the House Steven Tilley

In a press release, Tilley cited his desire to spend more time with his two daughters, continue his optometry practice and work on campaigns as reasons contributing to his decision to resign:

“Over the past eight years I sometimes put the interest of the caucus and the House ahead of my family,” Tilley said. “My decision to resign early is one I made with my daughters and that puts my family first.” Tilley will continue his optometry practice in Perryville and will remain active in politics and public policy. “I look forward to helping my friends and ensuring the Republican Party is successful in November and going forward” Tilley said.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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