Parson hasn’t officially announced his re-election campaign but named Shippy, his communications director, as his campaign manager. He’s expected to make a formal announcement soon.
“As Teresa and I consider seeking re-election, we have been encouraged by the overwhelming support of individuals from all across Missouri,” Parson said in a statement. “As we look to the future, it is imperative that we have someone leading the effort who not only shares our dedication to the people of Missouri but also believes in the vision we have for our great state.”
“Steele has been with us from day one in the Governor’s office and understands the allegiance Teresa and I have to our great state and its citizens,” he continued. “He also shares our strong belief in our role as public servants, working for the people of Missouri.”
Parson took over as Missouri’s chief executive in 2018 following the resignation of Gov. Eric Greitens.
Shippy said it’s “an honor” to serve in Missouri.
“The Governor’s office is a special place, and I will miss working alongside a tremendous team of dedicated and committed public servants,” Shippy said. “I will, however, continue to be a strong advocate for Governor Parson’s bold agenda to reform state government, rebuild our infrastructure, and develop Missouri’s workforce. It’s time to get to work on Team Parson 2020.”
Shippy led Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s campaign to victory in 2016 and is the former executive assistant to Mike Huckabee, a previous Republican presidential candidate. Shippy has experience with grassroots coalitions and ballot initiatives, including Missouri’s right to Farm and Voter ID constitutional amendments.
Shippy was raised on a family farm near Odessa and graduated from the University of Missouri. He lives in Jefferson City with his family.
Kelli Jones, Parson’s deputy communications director and press secretary, will now take on the role.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in March 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.