A Republican state lawmaker from the St. Louis suburbs who moved out of his district shortly after the end of the 2016 legislative session will officially resign from office today .
State Rep. Ron Hicks, a Republican from St. Charles County, originally balked at demands from House Democrats that he step down, despite the fact that the state constitution says a legislator must vacate their seat if they move outside their district boundries.
In a statement released Thursday evening, Hicks backed off his position and agreed to step down.
“While I was concerned about leaving my constituents without representation for the rest of the year,” he said, “my conversations with my family, many of my constituents, and Speaker (Todd) Richardson made it clear that resigning my seat is the right decision.”
Hicks is not seeking re-election.
The resignation avoids a potential showdown with House Democrats, who earlier this summer in a letter to Richardson pressed for Hicks to either resign or be formally removed from office.
“In the time since you became speaker more than a year ago after your predecessor resigned in disgrace, you have made great efforts to improve the standards for ethical and honorable behavior in the House,” the letter said. “Each day Rep. Hicks unlawfully remains in office undermines your hard work to restore trust in state government.”
Hicks’ resignation, along with the resignation of another Republican lawmaker earlier this year, leaves the GOP with 115 seats in the Missouri House. That’s still six more than the number needed to override any of Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes.