(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)
Mike Parson is the new governor of Missouri.
The 62-year-old became the state's 57th governor after taking the oath of office about a half hour after the resignation of former Governor Eric Greitens took effect.
Parson grew up on a farm in rural southwest Missouri and has held elected office since 1993, including 12 years as Polk County sheriff and 11 years in the Missouri General Assembly.
There is a hope that Parson will bring a calm to a state capitol that has been swirling in controversy for the past several months as Greitens has dealth with his legal issues.
Greitens resigned as the legislature was considering his impeachment over accusations of sexual misconduct and misuse of a charity donor list. It was announced that in exchange for Greitens' resignation, prosecutors will drop charges related to alleged campaign finance violations and the donor's list.
Following his swearing in, Parson had words that he hopes will help the state move forward.
"My pledge to all Missourians, to work hard, each and every day, to bring honor, integrity, transparency, to the governor's office.," he said. "We have an opportunity beginning today to have a fresh start in state government. I believe now is the time for Missouri to come together. To work together, and to help one another. I will always, I will always be ready and willing to listen to ideas on how state government can better position itself to serve our families and our communities. I am optimistic about the future of our great state and am looking forward to the work ahead. God bless you, God bless the great state of Missouri and God bless the United State of America."
Parson will serve the remainder of Greitens' term, which lasts until 2021.