ST. LOUIS – Gabriel “Gabe” Gore was officially named the newest St. Louis Circuit Attorney on Friday. He was appointed by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson following the abrupt departure of Kim Gardner earlier this week.

Gore brings more than 23 years of experience in private law practice to the table. He has served with the Dowd Bennett law firm since 2010, and the organization describes him as an “experienced trial lawyer who concentrates on complex civil litigation and white collar defense.”

Before his work at Dowd Bennet, Gore also served as a member of the Office of Special Counsel John C. Danforth’s Waco Investigation from 1999 to 2000. He also has experience as an assistant U.S. Attorney, where he tried federal prosecutions through a drug task force. Gore has also served as a clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Gore, who learned of his selection as the next circuit attorney on Thursday, enters office with two main priorities. First, he hopes to build back a depleted staff that noticed massive turnover of assistant prosecutors in recent months, often forcing delays or dismissals in court hearings. He says it’s also important to build relationships with the community, police and other regional and state officials.

“This [is] a historic opportunity to serve the city I love,” said Gore. “As I accept this appointment, my sole focus is to begin the process of building a circuit attorney’s office that is high-performing and can provide the level of justice and public safety that the citizens of St. Louis deserve.”

A resident of St. Louis City, Gore has also served as a member of the St. Louis Community Foundation, Forest Park Forever Board of Directors, Missouri Supreme Court Advisory Committee, and the Missouri State University Board of Governors.

Gore has also been recognized for his advocacy of diverse populations. In 2014, Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Gore to serve on the Ferguson Commission, which made proposals to address issues like racial injustice, economic inequality and municipal court reform. He has also served on the board of directors of the St. Louis Public Library and the KIPP St. Louis Charter School.

Gore earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Missouri State University in 1991, where he was a track and cross-country athlete for several years. He later earned his Juris Doctor from University of Chicago Law School, where he was once taught by future president Barack Obama.

Gov. Mike Parson appointed Gore after 18 candidates, including five judges, applied for consideration. He adds it was important to select a candidate with commitment to the rule of law, strong managerial experience and was a member of the St. Louis community.

“We know he wants to do right by the people who do the same in [St. Louis],” said Parson. “He has a tall task ahead of him, but we know he is the right man at the right time to restore trust in the Circuit Attorney’s Office.”

Gore is also a husband and father of several children, all who have called St. Louis home for several years. He is one of six children raised by his mother, Juliet, one of his earliest influences in education.

Gore takes over as Circuit Attorney after a six-year-plus run from Kim Gardner, the city’s first African-American chief prosecutor, who resigned from office two weeks earlier than expected on Tuesday following several legal battles. Gore will finish Gardner’s term, which runs through January 2025.