JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) — The most powerful man in the Missouri House is resigning several months before the end of his term. House Speaker Steve Tilley made the announcement in a press release Monday.

(Read full resignation letter here.)

After leading the Missouri GOP to its biggest legislative majorities since the roaring 20s, the Perryville Republican says it’s time to spend more time with his family and his optometry practice.

In a statement, Tilley says “Over the past eight years I sometimes put the interest of the caucus and the House ahead of my family,” and he makes his decision to resign with his daughters and family in mind.

Most of the legislative business if over until they reconvene in January. Lawmakers do meet for a veto session September, but little else is happening. In a resignation letter submitted to Gov. Jay Nixon, Tilley says his duties will be handled by House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller until a new speaker is chosen.

The new speaker will be Representative Tim Jones of Eureka.

Tilley was first elected to the Missouri House in 2004 and was barred by term limits from seeking another two-year term this year. He has been the House speaker since January 2011.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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