Chappell announces retirement, run for House seat

Galen Bacharier

Chillicothe's City Manager Darin Chappell announced during last week's city council meeting that he is retiring from his position at the end of March. Chappell is running for a seat in Missouri's House of Representatives.  

Darin Chappell pictured in a 2019 file photo at a Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce event.

Chappell, a veteran and former administrator for multiple southwest Missouri cities, will aim to succeed Rep. Curtis Trent in the House, where the Springfield attorney will vacate his seat. Chappell said Trent had "done well for our district" and promised to "continue promoting conservative principles to move Missouri forward."

Chappell has been city administrator of Chillicothe since Aug. 2017. 

A former lecturer at Missouri State University, he has served in administrative roles in Chillicothe, Bolivar and Seymour over the last decade. He cited his work with budgets, a strong opposition to tax increases and his role as a "constitutional conservative" in his campaign announcement Monday.

"I understand how government works — but more importantly — how it ought to work," Chappell said. "Because of my background, I am uniquely qualified to go to Jefferson City to root out bureaucratic mandates, return local control back to the people, and take a firm stand against an ever-encroaching national government."

Chappell said his priorities if elected would be focused on "fiscal responsibility and the shrinking of government." He'll jockey for votes in southwest Springfield and Battlefield, which the district encompasses prior to redistricting.

The Springfield native said he has hired Axiom Strategies, a political consulting firm that also represents clients including Attorney General Eric Schmitt, to serve on his campaign.

According to Missouri Ethics Commission filings, Chappell previously launched a campaign in 2010 for House District 145 in southeast Missouri, currently represented by Perryville Republican Rep. Rick Francis.

Galen Bacharier covers Missouri politics & government for the News-Leader. Contact him at gbacharier@news-leader.com, (573) 219-7440 or on Twitter @galenbacharier.