The Missouri Senate voted Thursday to confirm Ryan Silvey to a seat on the state’s Public Service Commission.
Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, resigned his Clay County state Senate seat after the vote was final, ending a 13-year legislative career that included a stint as chairman of the House budget committee. He was then sworn in as a member of the PSC, a board that regulates investor-owned electric, natural gas, steam, water and sewer utilities.
“One third of my life has been in the Missouri General Assembly,” Silvey, 41, told The Star Thursday afternoon. “I’ve shared more nostalgic tears with friends and colleagues today than I’d care to admit. But I’m excited about the new opportunity and new direction.”
Silvey’s new job, which comes with a six-year term and a $109,000 annual salary, also officially ends speculation that he may run for mayor of Kansas City in 2019.
“As far as any political plans in the short run, those are on hold,” he said. “I won’t be running for mayor or city council in the coming elections. I’d never rule out something down the road.”
Gov. Eric Greitens announced Tuesday that he was appointing Silvey to the PSC. Silvey said the governor’s office first approached him to gauge his interest in the job last Friday.
The announcement came as a shock to Missouri political observers, as Silvey and Greitens have regularly sparred. That includes a push by Silvey to form a special legislative committee to investigate whether the governor engaged in illegal activity during his 2016 campaign as well as during his time as governor.
Many saw the appointment as an attempt by Greitens to buy off someone who has been a thorn in his side.
Silvey dismissed that idea.
“That would be the cynical interpretation, and we live in a cynical society,” he said. “But the reality is the governor and I have never clashed on utility issues. We didn’t see eye to eye in a lot of areas, but this is one where we have and do. I’m grateful for the opportunity and excited he’s using my talents in that way.”
It’s now up to Greitens to set a date for a special election to replace Silvey in the Senate. Among those considering a run are Republican Rep. Kevin Corlew of Kansas City and Democratic Reps. Lauren Arthur and Jon Carpenter of Kansas City and Democratic Rep. Mark Ellebracht of Liberty.