(Missourinet St. Louis contributor Jill Enders contributed to this story)

Missouri’s governor disagrees with the state Democratic Party’s lawsuit against him and Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe (R).

Missouri Governor Mike Parson (center) waves at his address to a joint session of the Legislature on June 11, 2018. House Speaker Todd Richardson (left) and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard (right) applaud (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The lawsuit involves Governor Mike Parson’s (R) appointment of Kehoe to the post. The lawsuit says Missourians should elect the state’s lieutenant governor.

Governor Parson was asked about the issue during a Wednesday press conference in Clayton, with St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

“I think it was very important to make that appointment and I think I had every ability to do that under the Constitution and the laws of the state of Missouri to make that appointment,” Parson says.

Parson says Democrats who are challenging his authority to appoint a lieutenant governor are wrong.

“We’ll let the courts decide that (the legal question) and it probably needs to be done at some point so we’ll see how that moves forward, but right now I think it’s more important that we do have a lieutenant governor in place to do the duties that the Constitution asks him to do,” says Parson.

Parson appointed Kehoe to the post on Monday.

The lawsuit was filed this week in mid-Missouri’s Cole County Circuit Court by the Missouri Democratic Party, with lead plaintiff Darrell Cope of Hartville, a World War II veteran.

Cope is quoted as saying he fought the Nazis to defend freedoms, including the freedom to elect leaders. He says as a World War II combat veteran he’s earned that right.

State Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber, a former state representative, says that when Parson served in the Missouri Senate, he “voted to hold an election in this exact situation.”

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