Wallingford selection for DOR is smart pick by Parson

Gov. Mike Parson recently announced a lawmaker from Cape Girardeau would be joining his administration.

Wayne Wallingford, who had been serving as state representative for the 147th district, will take his experience from the Legislature, business and the military to serve as the state's next director of the Department of Revenue.

"I never even dreamed I'd be in the Legislature, let alone be on the governor's Cabinet. There aren't enough words to describe what an honor it is," Wallingford said.

Wallingford is an impressive individual. A Vietnam veteran, he served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years. Wallingford worked for Pepsico's Taco Bell division, and in recent years he served as the chief people officer for McDonald's in Southeast Missouri, where he oversaw 1,200 employees. He also served in both the Missouri House and Senate where he was one of the most prepared and well-versed lawmakers in Jefferson City.

Wallingford's business background in customer service makes him particularly qualified for this position with the Department of Revenue where customer service is key. He noted in his introductory press conference that his plan was to take the first 90 days to learn and settle into the role before making any big changes.

Gov. Parson indicated he does not intend to call a special election to replace Wallingford during this election year. Doing so would only give Wallingford's replacement weeks in the General Assembly before the legislative session ends. A primary election will be held in August for the seat. Wallingford indicated a legislative assistant is available to assist individuals in the district.

We know Wallingford to be measured in his approach to government, honorable in character and smart. This is a good pick by Gov. Parson, and we congratulate Wallingford on the selection.