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Parson, Galloway debate heats up among Missouri politicos ahead of official announcements

   

Although neither politician has officially announced yet, the envisaged gubernatorial campaign between Gov. Mike Parson and state Auditor Nicole Galloway is already heating up debate. 

The potential faceoff between the two state leaders was the topic of discussion for the This Week in Missouri Politics panel Sunday which consisted of consultants David Barklage and Jack Cardetti, state Rep. Shamed Dogan, and Missouri Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Gepford

Gepford pointed to the sweeping anti-abortion bill Parson signed earlier this summer as a potential downfall to a campaign for the Republican. 

“Governor Parson had the opportunity to be a moderate and create legislation that was economically-focused for all of Missourians. He’s really taken an extremist turn this last session with HB 126, the abortion bill [that doesn’t include exemptions] even in cases of rape or incest,” Gepford said. 

Additionally, she criticized Parson for not recognizing June as LGBT Pride Month or taking action on a non-discrimination act. 

As for Galloway, the panel largely praised her for her work as state auditor. And Cardetti argued Parson wasn’t that “well-known” considering his incumbent position. 

But Barklage contended Galloway’s “partisan approach against Parson’s bipartisan approach is going to disservice her.” 

The panel also speculated how Bayer’s North American Crop Science Division’s planned relocation to Missouri — which will result in about 500 new jobs in the St. Louis area while retaining more than 4,000 others — could impact the gubernatorial race. Parson announced the move last week on the heels of his first European trade mission trip

“The governor has been excellent on economic development, and it’s really a boost to the St. Louis psyche,” Dogan said. 

Missouri politicos are on tenterhooks awaiting both Galloway and Parson to formally make a campaign announcement. Recent campaign finance disclosures showed Parson with a substantial amount of cash on hand: He reported having $1.15 million, whereas Galloway reported nearly $133,000. 

The two did bring in similar amounts for the July quarter, however. Galloway raised more than $117,000; Parson raked in nearly $120,000. 

Watch Sunday’s episode of This Week in Missouri Politics below for more on the gubernatorial race, criminal justice reform, and former Gov. Eric Greitens’ political future.