Sen. Gary Nodler has decided to step aside as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Nodler, R-Joplin, is one of many Republicans seeking the U.S. Seventh District House seat. In a statement, he attributed his decision to his focus on his congressional run.
“As a candidate for Congress, it would not be possible to give sufficient attention to both the time demands of a campaign and the time demands of being chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,” Nodler said. “I also have a deep appreciation for the long-standing and strong tradition of the Senate Appropriations Committee being the most bipartisan committee in the Legislature. Republicans and Democrats work together and that carries through to floor unity to keep our budget recommendations intact throughout the process. Protecting the tradition of bipartisanship is vital to the success of the budget process. As a candidate, it would be difficult to maintain that tradition while I am involved in a partisan primary.”
The press release also stated that Nodler was stepping aside to "ensure that there can not even be the appearance of political ambition in any way influencing the actions of the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee."
This is the second straight time a chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee stepped down before a term expired. Sen. Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles, resigned from the committee and the Senate to take a county position in St. Charles.
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, will be in charge of selecting a replacement for Nodler. If leaves the committee altogether, he may have to appoint another Republican to the budget writing committee.