SEDALIA, Mo. – If a poll released this week shows that Sen. Mike Parson’s campaign for lieutenant governor is going to be a tough battle, the Bolivar Republican brought out the big guns this week when he campaigned with Forrest Lucas.

Lucas, the millionaire founder of Lucas Oil, also founded Protect the Harvest, a pro-agriculture group dedicated to fighting against animal rights activists who could threaten farming.

On Tuesday and Wednesday the pair, along with their wives at some events, attended a fundraiser in Diamond hosted by Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and local businessman Glenn Brown; a fundraiser in Springfield hosted by 7th District Congressional Republican Committee Chairman and a luncheon at the state fairgrounds in Sedalia.

“For him to come here and travel with me for a couple of days, I’m just grateful and humbled that he would take the time to do that. He’s a busy man but what a great guy to have along with you on some of the things in the state that we’re doing,” Parson said about the tour. “He’s been a huge influence in bringing agriculture together here in this state and other portions of the United States. It was good for him to be here and just absolutely great turnout everywhere we went.”

At that final stop in Sedalia, more than 200 people showed up, almost as a rebuke to a poll that came out the day before showing Parson trailing Bev Randles in the Republican primary.

“To finish up the travel with over 200 people at a luncheon at Sedalia, Missouri, that was a huge finish,” Parson said. “I want to say for the most part that there’s not that many statewide candidates that would have that large an event.”

Parson is the only active farmer campaigning for statewide office and he’s worked with Lucas on a number of farm issues in the state, including Right-to-Farm and proposition B. They became friends through their work together, so much so that Lucas brought his wife along for the tour this week.

“That was a big deal to have him here. Of course we’ve been friends for a while, but we worked together on a lot of ag issues and so that was one of things we got to know each other,” Parson said. “To have both of them here and to spend a little time with them was fun. For him to be on the campaign trail with you is good.”

Lucas has also financially supported Parson, with a $25,000 check last year.

Parson and Randles will debate Sunday on This Week in Missouri Politics.