JEFFERSON CITY— Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, was honored at the Capitol by former presidents pro tem, the governor and his Missouri Senate colleagues as the lieutenant governor unveiled his official portrait. For 16 years, Sen. Richard has served the people of Southwest Missouri, first as a representative, then as speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and finally as president pro tem of the Senate.

During his tenure in the Missouri Legislature, Sen. Richard sponsored and promoted numerous pieces of legislation to improve Missouri’s business climate. He has been directly involved in many of the state’s economic development projects. Those include his efforts to keep the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) in Missouri. NGA provides crucial geospatial, or map-based, intelligence to the military, policymakers, first responders and intelligence professionals. The agency plays a crucial role in our national defense, and it currently employs more than 3,000 people in high-tech, high-paying positions in St. Louis.

Also, Sen. Richard has led many of the tort reform efforts during the past legislative sessions. Senator Richard believes tort reform is critical to economic development. The reforms made over the last decade will create a better business climate for businesses to hire additional employees rather than waste money on frivolous lawsuits.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by my former colleagues. I have formed so many great relationships in this building. I have made friends with whom I have bonds that will last the rest of my life. The experiences I have had in this historic building will never be forgotten. I’m so blessed to have been a part of it all. I will leave this building at the end of the year owing a great debt of gratitude to my neighbors who allowed me to serve. I am forever grateful for this experience,” said President Pro Tem Ron Richard.

Senator Richard’s portrait will be on display in the Hall of the Senate President Pro Tem. On May 11, 1989, the Senate established the hall located along the south wall of the Pershing Gallery. The display pays tribute to the former officers of the Senate for their outstanding service to the great state of Missouri. The senators featured on this wall debated measures and ideas on the Senate Chamber floor, many of those issues have changed Missouri forever and moved our great state forward.

Senator Richard was joined by the governor and by former presidents pro tem James L. Mathewson, Mike Gibbons, Charlie Shields, Rob Mayer and Tom Dempsey.

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.