Bob Priddy for Missourinet
Missouri once had three secretaries of state within a week. It was December 1994 when the Missouri Supreme Court removed Judi Moriarty. Governor Carnahan appointed his Director of Administration Dick Hanson to be the interim secretary of state. By the end of the week, he had appointed Rebecca McDowell Cook of Cape Girardeau to complete Moriarty’s term. Hanson, thus, has the distinction of having the shortest term of any Missouri statewide office-holder.
McDowell was a lawyer and state school board member. She became the second woman to hold the Secretary of State’s job—Moriarty being the first and only fourth woman to hold a statewide position.
She was elected to a full four-year term but did not run for re-election in 2000. Four years later she was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor but lost by one-half of one percentage point to fellow Cape Girardeau resident Peter Kinder, who went on to serve three terms.