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Governor Names Area State Senator To Missouri Panel Overseeing Utilities

State Senator-elect Scott Rupp (state photo)
File photo
State Senator-elect Scott Rupp (state photo)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has nominated state Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R-Wentzville, to a seat on the Missouri Public Service Commission, which oversees public utilities that operate in the state.

The five-person PSC is among the state’s most powerful agencies, and among the most lucrative for commission members, who each earn close to $100,000 a year. The commission also regulates Missouri’s mobile home, modular unit and recreational vehicle industries.

Rupp’s appointment must be approved by his colleagues on the state Senate, where some members may be concerned about what his departure from the Senate would do to the Republican majority.

Without Rupp, Republicans will hold a 23-9 edge, which represents just enough for a GOP override of any Nixon veto.  The Senate already has one vacancy, that of Democrat Ryan McKenna of Jefferson County, named a few months ago by the governor to head his Department of Labor.

Rupp is completing the final months of his final term in the Missouri Senate. He has served as a state senator since 2007, representing roughly the western half of St. Charles County. He also was twice elected to represent northwest St. Charles County in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Rupp would replace Democrat Kevin Gunn, who already has left the PSC. 

Rupp would be the second Republican on the commission, joining Bill Kenney, a former state senator from the Kansas City area.  All commissioners are appointed by the governor, who must name at least two members from the opposing party.

Said Nixon in a statement: “Sen. Rupp will bring a great deal of knowledge to the Public Service Commission, both from his leadership in the General Assembly as well as his experience in business…”

Rupp currently is a vice president of business development for UMB Bank in O’Fallon. The governor’s announcement noted that Rupp also previously had “operated an investment firm, as well as a mortgage brokerage that specialized in loans for parents of college-bound students.”

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.