Jefferson City, MO – To ensure continuity of government operations, Gov. Jay Nixon today appointed John Watson as Missouri State Auditor. Watson has agreed to serve as the State Auditor until a permanent appointment by the Governor is made, immediately prior to which Watson will resign.

“The Missouri State Auditor’s Office provides a critical public service,” Gov. Nixon said. “John will serve as the State Auditor and carry out the important functions of the office until a permanent appointment is made, in accordance with state law.”

Under Missouri law, when a vacancy occurs in the office of the State Auditor, the Governor shall immediately appoint the Auditor to fill such vacancy.

“I have tremendous respect for the State Auditor’s Office, and I will carry out these duties in service to the people of Missouri,” said Watson. “I continue to keep Tom Schweich’s family and friends in my thoughts and prayers, and join them in mourning this loss.”

“I know that John Watson will perform these duties with the professionalism, integrity and independence the citizens of Missouri expect and deserve, and I am pleased that he has agreed to serve while I move thoroughly and expeditiously to select a permanent replacement,” said Gov. Nixon.

John Watson currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Governor. Previously, Watson served as Chief of Staff to Gov. Nixon from January of 2009 until December of 2014, and served as Chief of Staff to then-Attorney General Nixon from 1997 until his election as Governor.  Watson also worked in finance at Emerson Electric in St. Louis and at the Department of Economic Development prior to attending law school. Watson, a Missouri native, earned both his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Watson and his wife, Julie, live in Jefferson City with their three daughters.