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Governor Nixon vetoes new process for Lt. Governor vacancies

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — There will be no immediate answer on how Missouri replaces a lieutenant governor who leaves partway through a term.

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed legislation to require a new lieutenant governor be selected during the next general election while an aide for the departing officeholder handles ministerial duties in the meantime. Under the vetoed bill, the lieutenant governor's responsibilities as Senate president were to be handled by a senator.

The Democratic governor says the measure would have created a "confusing and untenable process."

Missouri governors appoint replacements to other statewide offices, but there has been uncertainty about how the lieutenant governor should be succeeded.

Jason Smith, who now is a congressman, sponsored the Missouri legislation. He criticized the veto and says voters should be able to elect a new lieutenant governor.

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