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Government, Politics & Issues

Nixon will soon have to pick Schweich's successor

Schweich.jpg
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich.

Within minutes of the news of Auditor Tom Schweich's death, Gov. Jay Nixon ordered all flags on Missouri property lowered to half-staff.

But the governor will soon have a much bigger decision to make: who to appoint as Schweich's successor.

Missouri law seems to suggest that a decision must be made rapidly:

29.280. When a vacancy occurs in the office of state auditor the governor shall immediately appoint an auditor to fill such vacancy for the residue of the term in which the vacancy occurred, and until his successor is elected or appointed, commissioned and qualified.

No special election is required, and the governor is not required to appoint an auditor from the same political party as the former one. So far, no one in Nixon's office will comment on whom he may be considering to replace Schweich.

Schweich was overwhelmingly elected to a second term as state auditor in November and was sworn in last month. He also recently announced his candidacy for Missouri governor.

In a written statement, Nixon called Schweich "a brilliant, devoted, and accomplished public servant who dedicated his career to making Missouri and the world a better place."

Nixon also attended a brief memorial service Thursday in the Missouri House chamber for Schweich, along with Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, Speaker John Diehl, several House and Senate members, and staff members who work in the State Capitol.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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