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Ron Richard elected to be Missouri Senate president pro-tem

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

As its first order of business the Missouri Senate unanimously elected Ron Richard, R-Joplin, to be its president pro-tem.

His fellow Republicans chose him for the post during a private caucus meeting Tuesday; his formal election  at the start of the 2015 veto session was a foregone conclusion. Richard says he's honored, but added that he'll actually have less power than he had as floor Leader.

"And that’s OK," he told reporters.  "I'm serious about this; I'm not here to make friends. … I love the institution, I think we're here for a reason, and I like getting things done, but there's some days you can't get anything done, and maybe some days when you don't get anything done that's a success, too."

Richard also becomes the only Missourian to serve both as House speaker and Senate president pro-tem. He was speaker from 2009 to 2010, and was elected to the Senate after term limits forced him to give up his House seat.

He succeeds Tom Dempsey who resigned from office this summer and now works as a consultant for Gate Way Group, a lobbying firm based in Clayton.

Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City was chosen to be the new majority floor leader, and Dr. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, was chosen as assistant majority floor leader.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

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

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