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Ex-Missouri Senate official Tom Dempsey now registered lobbyist

Tom Dempsey, the former president pro tem of the state Senate, registered to lobby in Missouri last week.
Tom Dempsey, the former president pro tem of the state Senate, registered to lobby in Missouri last week.

Another former legislative leader is returning to the Missouri Capitol as a lobbyist.

Tom Dempsey is a St. Charles Republican who last year resigned as president pro tem of the Missouri Senate with more than a year left on his term to work for the lobbying firm of GOP megadonor Rex Sinquefield. He said at the time that he did not expect to end up lobbying in Missouri, instead focusing on other states, namely Florida.

But last week he registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission to represent Renovate America Inc. The California-based company provides loans for energy-efficient residential and commercial renovations through the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE.

“I waited until after the one year anniversary of my resignation to take this opportunity to represent Renovate America, an excellent company whose mission I embrace,” Dempsey said in an email to The Star.

Dempsey was first was elected in 2000 to the Missouri House, where eventually became majority leader. He joined the Missouri Senate in 2007, and rose through the ranks in that chamber to become majority leader and eventually president pro tem, the Senate’s highest position.

His Senate seat has remained vacant since his resignation last August. He was one of a spate of lawmakers who left office to lobby in 2015, sparking legislation this year mandating that former legislators wait six months after their term ends before being allowed to return to the Capitol as a lobbyist.

In his email to The Star, Dempsey praised the Property Assessed Clean Energy program for giving property owners the ability to update their home or business in way that “serves a broader environmental, economic, and infrastructure goal. So, instead of choosing the cheapest, we have a tool that helps a homeowner make a decision on what is the best value.”

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