JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A former state lawmaker who became a top aide for Governor Eric Greitens is stepping down after less than a year on the job.
News broke this week that Caleb Jones, the former state representative from District 50, would be leaving the Governor’s Office and taking a position as the new vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
“I’m pleased to be joining such a great team,” Jones said in a statement issued Wednesday. “The electric cooperatives have a great reputation for trustworthiness and they work hard to raise the quality of life for rural people. I look forward to using my skills for the benefit of electric cooperative members statewide.”
Jones, who served in the House since 2011, joined the team in January of 2017 to serve as the deputy chief of staff under Anheuser-Busch attorney Michael Roche, who was named Greitens’ chief of staff.
“For me, this was about answering Governor-elect Greitens’ call to service and joining an administration that will have a real positive impact on Missouri families,” Jones said when accepting the position in Greitens’ office.
The Republican Jones practiced law in Columbia, and over the course of his career, he has worked in Washington D.C. for U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, as well as serving as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Bush administration. He also worked on the 2004 Bush/Cheney campaign.
In the House, Jones represented parts of Boone County, Cole, Moniteau and Cooper County, and was unopposed in his last three elections.
As a legislator, Jones was a tenacious and leading figure in the House, at one point running to become Speaker. In addition to the legislation he sponsored, he also served as the chairman of the General Laws committee during his time.
Many referred to the then-legislator as the “most well-connected person” in the State Capitol, as he could often be found talking with constituents and working on legislation that ranged anywhere from protecting foster children to updating the corporate tax structure. He championed legislation to put stricter regulations on docks and marinas following the electric shock deaths of two children at the Lake of the Ozarks.
He also helped the electric cooperatives by supporting a bill that made it easier to increase reliability by clearing right of way and by opposing a tax increase that would have increased the cost of electricity for electric co-op members.
“During Caleb’s time in the Missouri House he was not only a member of the leadership but also a champion for the issues that affected rural people and their electric cooperatives,” said Barry Hart, CEO of the association. “Whenever our voice needed to be heard we always went to Caleb because he understood the issues and never forgot his own rural roots.”
“Having a strong leader who cares about rural life is important to Missouri’s electric cooperatives,” Hart said. “We are pleased that Caleb will be joining Co-op Nation.”
Jones resides in Columbia, with his wife Lindsey, son Max and daughter Charleston. He is the son of former state Rep. Kenny Jones and the late Pam Jones.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.