Fitzpatrick announced as next State Treasurer of Missouri
State Rep. to make transition in January, possible special election for seat
As recent as one month ago, occupying the State Treasurer’s Office was not on the mind of State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob.
That changed merely a couple weeks ago, when his name was suggested for the position and he met with Gov. Mike Parson about filling the opening left by incoming Attorney General appointee Eric Schmitt.
Fitzpatrick said he got the call on Tuesday at about 7:30 p.m. from the governor’s office wanting to move forward with his appointment as Treasurer, and on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., it was announced. He will continue serving as a Representative until he takes office officially some time in January 2019.
“I met with the governor last week about it, but that was the first conversation we’ve had,” Fitzpatrick said. “I want to thank Governor Parson for the tremendous honor of being selected as Missouri’s next state treasurer. As house budget chairman, I’ve worked to protect Missouri taxpayers by passing balanced budgets that eliminate wasteful spending while investing in our shared priorities. As State Treasurer, I’ll continue to work each and every day to promote government transparency and efficiency.”
Fitzpatrick said as treasurer, he is charged with overseeing and managing state funds.
“Part of the treasurer’s job is cash flow management, paying bills and investing excess cash to get returns,” Fitzpatrick said. “Being budget chair in the House gives me a good understanding of appropriations when writing checks and paying the bills.”
Parson said Wednesday he was honored to make the appointment.
“Scott has built his career, as a small business owner and legislator, with a proven track record of being a wise steward and protector of the people’s money,” Parson said. “From the beginning of this administration, it has been a top priority that we strive to provide stability and instill confidence for all Missourians – that we can and will move forward. Missourians will soon have another fully qualified, ready to lead, fiscal conservative managing the Treasurer’s office.”
First elected at the age of 25, Fitzpatrick quickly rose in leadership to become one of the most respected members of the General Assembly on fiscal issues. As a millennial, Fitzpatrick will soon be one of the youngest statewide officials in modern times. Additionally, he has successfully built his small business into a multi-million dollar enterprise.
State Treasurer Eric Schmitt showed his support for the pick.
“For the past two years, the talented individuals within the State Treasurer’s Office have worked every day to protect Missouri taxpayers and help Missouri small business owners,” he said. “I am glad to see Governor Parson continue to move the state forward and select Scott Fitzpatrick as the next State Treasurer. The State Treasurer’s job is to be an excellent steward of the people’s tax dollars. Scott has a long record of proven leadership as Chair of the House Budget Committee, and his experience and integrity will serve him well in his new role.”
Locally, Purdy Superintendent Steven Chancellor said he was excited for Fitzpatrick to make the move.
“[Fitzpatrick] has grown into a very strong, reliable representative and we will miss him in the house. I’m anxious to see how he can spread his influence as Treasurer. The void does concern me. We certainly need a person who believes in public education.”
Cassville Superintendent Richard Asbill said it’s exciting to have a Cassville alum in such a high state position.
“Scott has been an outstanding advocate for his constituents and for local school districts,” Asbill said. “I’m very proud of him and to have him as our Treasurer, and I’m extremely excited to have him as an advocate for Missouri.”
While he is excited to make the move, Fitzpatrick said he will miss the Legislature.
“I will certainly miss the House,” he said. “It will be hard to leave, and I was looking forward to being budget chair for two more years. But, that would have ended in two years anyway, and it’s someone else’s turn.”
Replacing Fitzpatrick as budget chair will be State Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage.
Regarding his now-vacant seat, Fitzpatrick said the governor will have to call for a special election to fill it.
“The earliest that could be done is in April 2019, but the problem with that is the session ends a few weeks after that person would be seated,” Fitzpatrick said. “With the way term limits work, whomever is elected would miss out on a whole session. It’s beneficial to the area to have a representative in a position of leadership. I had the opportunity to be in leadership early, and that has allowed me to help things in the area like the Purdy-Monett sewer pipeline, Purdy’s FEMA building and the updated to Crowder College in Cassville. Anyone elected in April would be behind the eight-ball for a leadership position.
“I would advocate for a special election later in 2019, with the new representative being seated in early 2020. That way, the person could serve 4-1/2 terms. It would be better for the district, even if it means going a full year without a representative. We still have [State Sen.] David Sater, [R-Cassville], to help with constituent issues. Then again, if someone wants to step in and not serve a full 8 years, that would be a different situation.”
Fitzpatrick, first elected State Representative in 2012, represented Barry and portions of Stone and Lawrence counties. In addition to his time in public service, Representative Fitzpatrick is the founder of MariCorp US., a Shell Knob-based marine manufacturing and construction company.
Fitzpatrick graduated Cassville High School in 2006 and the University of Missouri in 2010. He currently lives in Cassville. He and his wife Mallory have two sons, Luke and Carson (born in 2016), and are members of United Methodist Church in Cassville.