Gov. Parson names top staffers

Governor Mike Parson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _┬áMissouri Gov. Mike Parson has hired longtime staffers and well-known Republican politicos to work for him in the governor’s office.

Parson on Tuesday announced he picked former state House Republican staffer Robert Knodell as deputy chief of staff.

Knodell is the former executive director of the House Republican Campaign Committee and worked for top House Republicans.

Parson also is bringing on spokeswoman Kelli Jones to be press secretary and longtime Executive Assistant Marylyn Luetkemeyer to continue serving in that role.

Parson on Monday named former U.S. Department of Commerce official Aaron Willard to be his chief of staff.

Former Republican Rep. Justin Alferman will be Parson’s legislative director. Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s former deputy chief of staff, Steele Shippy, is now the governor’s communications director.

Parson assumed office Friday shortly after former Republican Gov. Eric Greitens resigned.