Michael L. Parson was sworn in as Missouri’s 57th Governor on June 1, 2018 by Missouri Supreme Court Judge Mary R. Russell. He came into the role of governor with a longtime commitment to serving others with over 30 years of experience in public service.
Governor Parson previously served as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri. He was elected Lieutenant Governor after claiming victory in 110 of Missouri’s 114 counties and receiving the most votes of any Lieutenant Governor in Missouri history.
Governor Parson served six years in the United States Army and as the Sheriff of Polk County from 1993-2005. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-2011 and in the Missouri Senate from 2011-2017.
As a member of Missouri’s General Assembly, Governor Parson sponsored and co-sponsored several landmark pieces of legislation including Missouri’s Castle Doctrine, which strengthened 2nd Amendment rights, and the Missouri Farming Rights Amendment, a piece of legislation that changed the Missouri Constitution to guarantee all Missourians the right to farm and ranch.
During Governor Parson’s first year in office, he pledged a “fresh start” as well as greater government accountability and transparency for all Missourians. Governor Parson began his administration focusing on, and ultimately achieving, historic bipartisan progress on two priorities: workforce development and infrastructure.
From day one, workforce development has been a major focus for Governor Parson. In many ways, Missouri’s economy is strong – incomes are up, taxes are down, and new markets are opening up for trade. Since January 2017, Missouri’s unemployment rate has fallen and remains at near-historic lows.
The Governor’s proposal to improve economic and workforce development through a reorganization of state government was overwhelmingly supported by the General Assembly. Through these reorganization efforts, government will be more efficient and accountable to the people. The restructuring also included several measures to address the state’s growing workforce challenges.
Governor Parson spearheaded a bold plan to address Missouri’s serious infrastructure needs, presenting a bonding package of $301 million to address more than 200 bridges, in critical need of repair or replacement, throughout the state. By improving Missouri’s infrastructure, Governor Parson aims to increase access to transporting goods throughout Missouri, across the nation, and around the world. Using the state’s rivers, interstates, highways, and airports, Missouri will be able to expand into new trade markets around the United States and the world.
Governor Parson has also received several honors and awards while in office. In 2017, he was inducted into the Missouri Farmers Care Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was awarded the Missouri Times Statesman of the Year, named Biz 417 Person of the Year, and named on Ingram’s 50 Missourians You Should Know list.
Governor Parson and First Lady Teresa live in Bolivar. Together they have two grown children and six grandchildren. He was raised on a farm in Hickory County, and graduated from Wheatland High School in Wheatland, Missouri. He is a small business owner and a third generation farmer who currently owns and operates a cow and calf operation near Bolivar.