ken jacob

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Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed a former state lawmaker as acting director of the agency responsible for collecting unemployment insurance taxes and paying jobless benefits.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Wednesday that Nixon has named Ken Jacob to head the state Labor Department's Division of Employment Security.

Jacob, a Democrat from Columbia, will serve as acting director in place of Gracia Backer, who left the position without a public explanation. A permanent nomination requires Senate confirmation.

KBIA

KBIA’s Jessica Reese recently interviewed the Republican candidate for State Representative in the newly formed 44th District, Caleb Rowden.

Jacob talks about the importance of higher education, and how he believes it can be a way to promote job growth in the state. He also stresses revitalization of Interstate 70, but doesn’t go as far as to promote turning it into a toll road. He says bonding will be the way to pay for that work, which he says will also create jobs. Jacob also questions the legitimacy of the his opponent, Republican Caleb Rowden, who he says is not qualified for the office. Jacob has served in the state house and senate.