Former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) returned to the Capitol in Jefferson City on Thursday for the presentation of his official portrait.
The official portrait of Nixon will be placed inside the Capitol museum.
Nixon, who served as Missouri’s 55th Governor from 2009 to January 2017, says his primary goal was to work hard for the people.
“Dramatic increases in college graduates, dramatic increases in two-year graduates, economy going way better, kept the AAA bond rating, paid down debt,” Nixon says.
Nixon tells a standing-room only audience that he focused on what was right, not on what his Democratic base wanted.
“Well I just think that, quite frankly, when elections are done elections are over,” Nixon tells the Capitol Press Corps. “And it’s your job then to govern all the people and we tried to do that.”
Missourinet also asked Nixon about his biggest disappointment that didn’t happen as governor.
“As far as disappointments, I mean I have to tell you when you look back over your shoulder you don’t focus on those,” says Nixon. “But I think that the Legislature and the Governor (Eric Greitens) this year working on transportation, that was something that we didn’t get done that you need to invest in.”
In August 2014, 58 percent of Missouri voters rejected Constitutional Amendment 7, a proposed sales tax increase for transportation.
Missouri’s fuel tax hasn’t been increased since 1996.
Governor Greitens (R), Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R-Joplin), House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) and Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh (D-Bellefontaine Neighbors) also spoke at the ceremony.
Pro Tem Richard notes he and Governor Nixon had many disagreements, but tried to find common ground. Richard praises Nixon for calling the 2010 Ford special session, saying the bill helped prevent the Claycomo plant from closing.
Richard says about 8,000 employees now work there.
Walsh praises Nixon’s response to the deadly 2011 Joplin tornado, noting he was there repeatedly for residents.
Walsh also jokes about Nixon’s four terms as Missouri Attorney General, saying some people described Nixon as the “Eternal General.” Nixon and lawmakers in both parties laughed.
Nixon served as attorney general from January 1993 to 2009.
Former Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel also attended the ceremony.
Artist Bill Neukomm of St. Louis joined Nixon at the presentation.
The portrait features Nixon in a suit, with the Capitol in Jefferson City and Missouri River behind him.
Nixon tells Missourinet he’s currently living in University City, and that he’ll be teaching at the Washington University School of Law this spring.
Click here to listen to former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s four-minute interview with three Capitol reporters, including Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth, on January 4, 2018: