Press "Enter" to skip to content

Former Parson chief of staff decries appearance in new ad: ‘It’s very deceptive’

EXCLUSIVE — Gov. Mike Parson’s former chief of staff accused the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) of recycling footage of him from a 2016 ad without his permission.

A Stronger Missouri, a group backed by the DGA, released an ad last week featuring Martin “Bubs” Hohulin in which the former chief of staff accused Parson of accepting “over 900 gifts” from lobbyists. Hohulin said the 30-second spot, titled “Lobbyists,” used footage from an ad run by Russ Carnahan in his 2016 bid for lieutenant governor without notifying him.

“Nobody asked my permission to use my image and my words in this ad,” Hohulin told The Missouri Times. “I’ve had my differences with Mike Parson in the past, but I would never support a liberal like Nicole Galloway who would lead us on a path toward socialism, gun confiscation, and abortion on demand.” 

“No one even called me to let me know,” Hohulin said. “To me, it’s all very deceptive.”

Mike Berg, a spokesman for Uniting Missouri, said the ad was a “use of D.C. tactics to attack the governor.”

“I think Nicole Galloway’s D.C. group put out an ad without Bubs’ permission, and I think he’s rightfully upset that they’re trying to make it seem like he endorses Galloway when they’re diametrically opposed,” Berg said. “I think they’re trying to cover for Galloway because she was exposed as an insider. I think they’re trying to muddy the waters.”

A spokesman for Galloway said the campaign was not involved in the ad’s production. A representative from the DGA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Hohulin served as Parson’s chief of staff from 2013 to 2014 during his tenure in the state Senate. Hohulin is also a former member of the Missouri House.

The DGA voiced its support of Galloway’s bid for governor this month. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, chair of the DGA, called Galloway “a star” in a recent overview of gubernatorial races and hosted a virtual press conference with her earlier this month. 

As of the latest MEC reports, Parson had more than $1.67 million cash on hand. Galloway wasn’t too far behind with about $1.58 million.