Government & Politics

Sen. Paul LeVota’s resignation ‘a necessary step,’ Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon issued the statement Friday night after state Sen. Paul LeVota, facing allegations that he sexually harassed Capitol interns, announced plans to leave the General Assembly in late August. It isn’t clear when a special election might be called to fill the seat of the embattled Democrat from Independence.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon issued the statement Friday night after state Sen. Paul LeVota, facing allegations that he sexually harassed Capitol interns, announced plans to leave the General Assembly in late August. It isn’t clear when a special election might be called to fill the seat of the embattled Democrat from Independence. The Associated Press

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says state Sen. Paul LeVota’s decision to resign was a “necessary step” and “in the best interests of his constituents.”

Nixon, a Democrat, issued the statement after LeVota announced plans to leave the General Assembly in late August.

In his statement, Nixon said he had not received LeVota’s resignation. State law requires LeVota, an Independence Democrat, to send the notice to the governor because the legislature is in recess.

It isn’t immediately clear when a special election might be held to fill LeVota’s seat. Missouri statutes require the governor to order an election “without delay,” but sets no specific timetable.

The Missouri election calendar allows for an election in November, but the final certification date for candidates is Aug. 25. That’s two days after LeVota’s resignation is to take effect.

Nixon might wait until February, when the legislature is in session. Ordering a stand-alone election, with no other matters on the ballot, is expensive and typically avoided.

LeVota announced his decision to resign on social media Friday. Two of his office interns reported receiving what they considered inappropriate communications from the senator.

He denied any impropriety but said he would resign.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to dhelling@kcstar.com.

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