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Politics, Elections and Government

Kansas City Senator Ryan Silvey, Outspoken Critic Of Governor, Nominated For State Post

Missouri News Horizon

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has nominated one of his most vocal Republican critics to a powerful state board, just ahead of the start to the 2018 legislative session. 

On Tuesday, Greitens tapped Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Republican representing Kansas City's Northland, to serve on the state Public Service Commission. The body regulates utilities in the state. Among other duties, the panel sets utility rates. 

Silvey would have to resign from his Senate seat if he is confirmed for the job, which comes with an annual $109,000 salary, roughly triple his salary as a state senator. Silvey tells KCUR that he will accept Greitens' nomination. 

Silvey has been one of Greitens' most outspoken critics within the GOP since Greitens took office last year. He has been critical of the first-time officeholder's aggressive approach to governing and his often combustible interactions with lawmakers. In addition, Silvey said Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard should be investigated after Richard filed legislation last year favorable to one of his most prominent political donors. 

But those fences appeared to be mended in a statement accompanying the nomination. Silvey praised Greitens as a "forward thinker" in his approach to infrastructure issues. Greitens heralded Silvey's understanding of the issues, while Richard cited Silvey's "ability to navigate the complex issues" of energy and the environment.

The news could complicate Silvey's political future in the near term. He has been widely discussed as a possible candidate for Kansas City mayor or a seat on the Kansas City Council in 2019. He has served in the Missouri General Assembly for 13 years.

Kyle Palmer is KCUR's morning newscaster. Follow him on Twitter

Brian Ellison reports on Missouri politics and government and hosts KCUR's political podcast Statehouse Blend Missouri. Follow him on Twitter

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