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Parson appoints longtime campaign aide to county clerk job

July 2, 2021 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has appointed his longtime campaign treasurer and family friend to become the clerk of his home county.

Parson announced Friday that he had named Rachel Lightfoot to serve as Polk County clerk, effective July 16. The clerk oversees local elections, among other duties.

Lightfoot, of Bolivar, has kept the financial books for Parson’s campaign since he first ran for the House in 2004, and as he later ran for state Senate, lieutenant governor and governor.

She also has a personal connection to Parson and his wife, Teresa. In a Parson campaign ad last year, Lightfoot described how Parson — then the Polk County sheriff — personally helped her out after her husband died in the line of duty.

The Polk County clerk position has undergone a lot of turnover recently. Clerk Melinda Robertson resigned after winning election last fall as a county commissioner. Parson announced in January that he had appointed Bobbi Lear to take over as clerk. But Lear also recently resigned.

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Lightfoot said she will leave her job at the Bank of Missouri to become clerk and may also have to step down as Parson’s campaign treasurer.

Parson is barred by term-limits from seeking re-election and has said he is not planning to run for any other office. Lightfoot said the Polk County clerk’s position would be up for election in 2022.