18 people seek governor's appointment to become St. Louis circuit attorney

The contenders for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's appointment are political opponents and a judge.

18 people seek governor's appointment to become St. Louis circuit attorney

18 people applied for the Governor's appointment to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office.

Kim Gardner, St. Louis Circuit attorney, announced her resignation on June 1, following years of criticism by victims, defendants, and their families about a lack communication, delays, dismissed charges, and never issued charges.

In a letter published on May 4, Gardner announced her resignation to prevent a Missouri bill from being passed that would have taken away the right of city residents to vote for their prosecutor.

Mike Parson will have to appoint her replacement. He said that he intends to do so when she leaves the office. The Governor's Office refused to release the names and contact information of those who applied by noon on Monday.

David Mueller, an attorney in the field of defense, confirmed that he was among those who applied for this position. He announced that he would be running against Gardner in 2024 after Gardner announced her plans to run for the position again.

In a written statement, Mueller said that St. Louis "wants and deserves" a progressive prosecutor who is aligned to the vision of city leaders and voters. "I did not need to be told to run. I could see first-hand that the house on fire, and I brought my bucket.

He said, "I know what I need to do and I'm ready to start today."

KSDK confirmed that Judge Michael Noble was also a contender, according to multiple sources who are familiar with the process.

Noble accused Gardner, along with one of her former assistants circuit attorneys, of indirect criminal contempt after they missed a trial date on the issue and a subsequent hearing. She also called Gardner's Office a "rudderless boat of chaos" for not attending a trial and hearing.

Raphael Morris, a criminal defense lawyer, was also a contender early on. However it is not clear if he had filed an application.

The Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey continues to seek Gardner's immediate removal from office as the search for her replacement proceeds. In February, Bailey filed a suit against Gardner to remove her as prosecutor. He claimed that she had 'willfully ignored her duties.