Mo. House approves election legislation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House members have endorsed legislation to change the process for filling vacancies in statewide offices.

The governor currently can appoint replacements as secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor or U.S. senator. But there is uncertainty about how to fill an opening as lieutenant governor.

The legislation would allow governors to appoint an acting officeholder, with the post appearing on the next general election ballot. Sponsors say acting officeholders would be barred from immediately running for that position to mitigate advantages of incumbency. It passed the House 115-45 on Tuesday and goes to the Senate.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder just started his third term and is seeking the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson.

The legislation also would move Missouri’s presidential primary from February to March.

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