The only person in Missouri history to hold both positions of Missouri Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem has died. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, was 75 years old.
Richard started his political career in the 1990’s, where he was elected to the Joplin City Council. The Joplin bowling alley owner then served as mayor from 1994-1998.
His time in the state legislature began in 2002 when he joined the House of Representatives. He served eight years in the House before being elected to the state Senate in 2010. He was elected to serve as President Pro Tempore from 2015 – 2018.
Due to term limits, he left office in 2019.
Richard leaves behind his wife Patty and two children.
Richard was a man of few words, but when he spoke, he did not mince words. Many Republican and Democratic friends he made in the legislature are thinking of him and his family today. The responses are flooding in on social media.
Gov. Mike Parson served alongside Richard in both the Missouri House and Senate.
Missouri has lost a strong leader and dedicated public servant with the passing of Ron Richard.
Ron was one of few great men to have served as both President of the Missouri Senate and Speaker of the Missouri House during his public service career. pic.twitter.com/AqD8Cs2GRC
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) June 9, 2023
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe also served with Richard in the Missouri Senate.
Claudia and I are heartbroken by the loss of our dear friend, Ron Richard.
Few elected officials have been a more effective advocate for Missourians than Ron. Our state was blessed to have his steady, consistent leadership. I also consider myself blessed to call him a friend… pic.twitter.com/Tq8ZaJNmaa
— Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe (@LtGovMikeKehoe) June 9, 2023
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of former Missouri Senate President Ron Richard. Ronny had a gruff exterior, but was as loyal, as loving and as sincere as anyone I have ever known. His legacy will live on for decades to come.
— Caleb Rowden (@calebrowden) June 9, 2023
Ron Richard was a legend. He was a principled man, one who was never afraid to tell you the truth instead of just what you wanted to hear. As my Speaker & Pro-Tem, he led with honor, dignity and commanded respect even when we disagreed. RIP Speaker Richard. #moleg @mogop_jasper
— Senator Denny Hoskins, CPA (@DLHoskins) June 9, 2023
One of the governors Richard served under was Jay Nixon, a Democrat.
Honest and Tough can still get you a long way in America. Ron Richard got to the pinnacle of power living that way.
A leader for the ages.
Rest in Peace my friend
— Governor Jay Nixon (@GovJayNixon) June 9, 2023
I served with Ron Richard for a decade. I don’t know anyone that cared more for the institutions of the house and senate. One day my tie was “slightly” undone, he walked right over and said Hummel it’s an honor to serve here. Fix that damn tie! RIP Ron
— Jake Hummel (@JacobHummel) June 9, 2023
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