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The Lt. Gov. replaces Greitens, but who replaces a Lt. Gov.?

Governor Mike Parson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – When Gov. Eric Greitens steps down from office Friday, he will re-open a longstanding legal debate in Missouri: What happens when the state doesn’t have a lieutenant governor?

The state constitution is clear on a governor’s succession, and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson is set to take the oath of office Friday evening. But there is no such clarity for the soon-to-be-vacant office of lieutenant governor.

Historically, some Missouri governors have claimed the right to appoint a replacement, while lawmakers have often argued that the position must remain vacant until voters have a say.

The Senate approved a proposal in May that would allow a governor to appoint a lieutenant governor as long as the candidate received Senate approval, but the measure died in the House.