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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - State Sen. Ryan McKenna has been appointed director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
 
Gov. Jay Nixon announced McKenna's appointment Friday and said it will take effect next Wednesday.
 
Like Nixon, McKenna is a Democrat from Jefferson County. McKenna served eight years in the House before winning election to the Senate in 2006. He would have been prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election next year.
 
The labor department has been under an acting director since March, when director Larry Rebman was appointed by Nixon to new job as an administrative judge. The department's former employment security director, Gracia Backer, also was replaced in March. She has alleged discrimination by Rebman, who has denied that.
 
Nixon on Friday appointed Nia Ray as the department's employment security director.
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