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Mo. Gov. Nixon withdraws education appointments

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has withdrawn two higher education appointments.

Nixon on Thursday withdrew the appointment of Columbia lawyer Craig Van Matre to the Board of Curators for the University of Missouri system. The appointment of Springfield lawyer Thomas Strong to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education also was withdrawn.

Strong had identified his political party affiliation as an “independent.” Some Republican senators have questioned whether that’s true. Strong has donated to Nixon, and his law firm won a contract when Nixon was attorney general to handle Missouri’s portion of the national tobacco settlement.

Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says Van Matre’s appointment was held up because of attempts to reach a deal on another possible appointment to the state Probation and Parole Board.

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