By Ben Peters
November 5, 2015
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Governor Jay Nixon is expected to appoint his policy director to serve as a circuit court judge in Mid-Missouri.
Jeff Harris, a former Missouri House minority leader, says he will accept the position for the seat covering Boone and Callaway counties.
That seat will be open because the current judge, Gary Oxenhandler, will reach the mandatory age for retirement in April of 2016.
Harris will serve the remainder of Oxenhandler’s term, which runs through January 2017.
Harris also said he plans to run for election in 2016 to keep the seat for another six years.
He said in a release he intends to file in February.
“Jeff Harris is an exceptional public servant who combines a brilliant legal mind, with impeccable character, integrity and ethics,” Gov. Nixon said. “Often the best judges are ones who have excelled both in their legal careers and at the highest levels of government. Jeff will bring both real-world experience and an exhaustive knowledge of Missouri law to his upcoming position as Circuit Judge. His inherent fairness and appreciation of right and wrong will serve the citizens of Boone and Callaway Counties well for years to come.”
Harris has been Nixon’s policy director for seven years and previously served in the Missouri House for six years, including as the minority leader.
He also worked as an assistant attorney general when Nixon was the state attorney general.