‘Let peace rule’: Business leaders, groups condemn election violence

Top executives from major companies and business groups spoke out Wednesday, condemning the violent attacks by supporters of President Donald Trump that disrupted the certification of Electoral College results at the U.S. Capitol.

Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, issued one of the strongest and most prescriptive rebukes, saying in a statement that Vice President Mike Pence “should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”

The amendment allows a vice president to take over for a president unable to perform the duties required of the office.

The manufacturers association, a business lobbying group whose partners include prominent Missouri employers like Bayer, earlier in the week had asked members of Congress to certify the election.

The Business Roundtable, a national association of more than 200 CEOs from top U.S. companies, issued a statement Wednesday calling on “the President and all relevant officials to put an end to the chaos.”

The group, whose members include Centene CEO Michael Neidorff and World Wide Technology co-founder and CEO Jim Kavanaugh, both of the St. Louis area, had previously opposed efforts to overturn the presidential election result.

“With our country in the midst of a pandemic, business leaders recognize that ongoing division and distrust in our political system threatens the economic recovery and job creation our country desperately needs,” the group said in a statement earlier this week.

Kavanaugh, who is also part of the ownership group for St. Louis’ Major League Soccer team, St. Louis City FC, was among a handful of top executives across the state who shared views on Wednesday’s events from their personal social media accounts.

Brent Shafer, the chairman and CEO of North Kansas City-based health care IT company Cerner, also reacted to Wednesday’s violence.

Peter Mallouk, the president of Kansas City-area investment firm Creative Planning, published a blog post Wednesday, in response to Tuesday’s Georgia runoff elections, about financial markets and elections. On social media following Wednesday’s attack, he was more succinct.

Mariner Kemper, the CEO of Kansas City’s UMB Bank, reacted with an appeal for civility and peace.

Local chambers of commerce were quiet on social media in the immediate aftermath of the unrest, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement condemning the attacks.


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