Mike Parson takes oath of office, becomes Missouri governor

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Mike Parson was sworn in as the 57th Governor of Missouri Friday afternoon, ending the tumultuous term of Eric Greitens, who resigned amid accusations of campaign impropriety and sexual misconduct involving a mistress.

The oath was administered at 5:30 p.m. by Judge Mary Rhodes Russell in a private ceremony due to time constraints. Parson said he'll hold a public swearing-in at a later date.

Parson, 62, was born and raised in Wheatland, Missouri and is a third-generation farmer. He spent six years in the US Army, serving two tours with the Military Police Corps, before returning home to Missouri. He was a sheriff's deputy in Hickory County and later became sheriff in Polk County, a position he held for 12 years.

Parson was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004 and then the Missouri Senate in 2010. He was elected lieutenant governor in 2016.

"We are pleased to welcome Mike Parson to the office of Governor. From serving his state as Sheriff to serving his state in the House, Senate, and as Lieutenant Governor, Mike Parson has cultivated important relationships in Jefferson City and across the state of Missouri, and his history in Missouri politics will certainly be an asset," said Chris Nuelle, a spokesperson for the Missouri Republican Party.

"We look forward to aiding Governor Parson in protecting and strengthening our majorities, electing Republicans up and down the ballot, enacting quality legislation, and spreading the conservative message to all corners of Missouri."

The new governor will spend the upcoming weekend fleshing out the transition from lieutenant governor to governor.

It's unclear who will become the new lieutenant governor and when that office will be filled.

Parson will finish Greitens’ current term, which runs until January 11, 2021.

Greitens announced his resignation Tuesday, May 29, effective at 5 p.m. on June 1. He's only the third governor to resign from office, but the first chief executive to do so under threat of impeachment.

Governor Daniel Dunklin stepped down in September 1836, three months before his scheduled leave, after being appointed Surveyor General of Missouri and Illinois by President Andrew Jackson. In February 1857, Governor Trusten Park resigned nearly two months after being sworn in so he could accept a position in the US Senate.

Greitens, 44, was charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking and transmitting a photo of a woman in a compromising position without her permission in March 2015. The governor admitted to engaging in an affair with his former hairdresser prior to running for office.