Missouri governor shuns state plane, flies at private costs

Missouri Governor-elect Eric Greitens stands with supporters before taking the stage in Maryland Heights, Missouri during his "Thank You" tour of the State of Missouri on January 7, 2017. Greitans will take the oath of office to become Missouri's 56th Governor on January 9, 2017 in Jefferson City, Missouri. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is shunning the state plane and instead relying on private donors and campaign funds to pay for his flights.

Since taking office in January, the Republican governor has not flown on a state airplane. That’s a significant departure from his Democratic predecessor, Jay Nixon, who frequently used state airplanes.

Greitens’ Chief of Staff Michael Roche says the governor is committed to spending as little of the taxpayers’ money as possible on travel.

Greitens’ senior adviser Austin Chambers says campaign funds were used to pay for a recent commercial airplane flight to Washington. He says a private plane was used when Greitens flew to southern Missouri for ceremonial signings of a right-to-work law prohibiting mandatory union fees.

Chambers says Greitens has traveled on roads to other events.