Missouri Gov. Parsons replaces Soros-backed prosecutor in St. Louis with corporate attorney

Gabriel D. Gore, a white-collar defense lawyer, was selected out of a field of 18 applicants. He previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney.

Published: May 20, 2023 11:58pm

(The Center Square) -

Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Friday named a corporate attorney to replace Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner after she abruptly resigned earlier this week.

Gabriel D. Gore, a white-collar defense lawyer for the law firm Dowd Bennett, was selected out of a field of 18 applicants. He previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri in the violent crime unit and organized crime drug task force.

“We believe Mr. Gore is a qualified and experienced leader our great City of St. Louis needs for this new day and this historical opportunity for change,” Parson told reporters outside of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. “He brings an abundance of legal experience as a prosecutor, managerial leadership and common-sense beliefs in law and order that will be critical to the effective restructure of this office.”

Gore said his sole focus is building a high-performing office to provide a level of justice and public safety. He said his top priorities will be assembling a staff of attorneys and professionals and establishing collaborative relationships.

In 2018, Gardner created an “exclusion list” of dozens of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers she deemed to be untrustworthy due to their dishonesty in reports.

“The Circuit Attorney's Office plays an essential role in the criminal justice process,” Gore said. “But the Circuit Attorney's Office can only be successful with the cooperation and collaboration of everyone that's represented here today.”

Joining Parson for the announcement were Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, Democratic St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, St. Louis Police Chief Robert Tracy, St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts, Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten, Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel Eric Olson, U.S. Attorney Sayler Fleming and Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Hogan.

Gore didn’t have any statement on the condition of the office left behind by Gardner and didn’t have any thoughts on running for the position.

“If you look at what I've done throughout my entire career, I've sought out opportunities to serve the community,” Gore said. “You can look at the things that I've done in service of the community and you won't find any connection to me pursuing anything other than things that I thought were important.”

Parson said he didn’t know Gore was a Democrat until a reporter informed him of his affiliation during the press conference. Gore was appointed to the Missouri State University Board of Governors and to the Ferguson Commission by former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. In 1999, Gore was an assistant special counsel for Republican John C. Danforth’s Waco investigation.

“Here's a person who could do a lot of things,” Parson said. “He could chase the almighty dollar if he wanted to chase the almighty dollar. He decided to give up a high-profile law firm to work for the people of St. Louis … I don't care about the titles. I care about people being public servants and I believe that's exactly what he'll be."

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