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Democratic Governors Association leadership weighs in on Missouri election: ‘Galloway is a star’

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) has earmarked State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s bid for Missouri governor as one of the most important races across the country.

“Nicole Galloway is a star,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, chair of the association, told reporters during a press call Thursday. “That race is very tight, and Nicole is running an extraordinary race. She’s got great statewide recognition and a great team. That race is very important.”

DGA Executive Deputy Director Wendi Wallace said the association worked with EMILY’s List to help Galloway’s bid to replace Republican incumbent Gov. Mike Parson. The pro-choice advocacy group named Galloway among its endorsements in July. 

Political Director Marshall Cohen pointed to Parson’s response to COVID-19 as a potential selling point for Galloway.

“The thread that is running through all of our races this year is that we are taking advantage of the opportunities republicans present us,” Cohen said. “In Missouri, Gov. Parson refused to take responsibility in the state’s response to COVID and was flippant about wearing a mask. His lack of seriousness and him getting COVID has made voters lose trust in his leadership.”

Cohen criticized Parson’s refusal to enact mask ordinances and his comments over the summer about school children contracting the virus, calling the Republican chief executive “out-of-touch.” 

“In Missouri, the number one issue for voters is health care,” said Executive Director Noam Lee. “That was true before the pandemic, and it’s no surprise that more and more people are worried about how to afford health care — that was proven by the August vote to expand Medicaid expansion. The next governor’s going to be implementing it, and Parson has no answer on how he’s going to address health care.”

Lee praised Galloway’s focus on public health in her campaign, calling it one of the most common topics in Democratic races this election cycle. 

Murphy led the virtual discussion on the nation’s major gubernatorial contests Thursday afternoon, providing updates on other tight races across the country. He said the fallout of COVID-19 emphasized the importance of state leadership.

“Governors have never mattered more,” he said. “So much is getting done, particularly over the past several years and even more so during this pandemic, where the action is at the gubernatorial level, day in and day out.”

Meanwhile in Missouri, Galloway faces legal challenges from Republican groups, including an investigation by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft over alleged misuse of state assets as part of her campaign. 

A recent poll found Galloway trailing with Missouri voters by 13 points, with 41 percent of those surveyed saying they would vote for Galloway and 54 percent backing Parson,

As of September, Parson had nearly $2 million cash on hand. Galloway boasted more than $2.1 million in her warchest. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.