By SUMMER BALLENTINE
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Incoming treasurer Vivek Malek will be the first person of color to serve in Missouri statewide office. Republican Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday named 45-year-old Malek to replace GOP Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is leaving the job after voters elected him state auditor last month. Malek is an immigration lawyer and lives in the St. Louis suburb of Wildwood. He was born in northern India. Malek moved to Missouri in 2002 to get his master’s degree in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. Only white candidates have ever won statewide elected office in Missouri. Malek’s role is the fifth open statewide elected seat that Parson has filled with an appointment since he became governor in 2018.