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Galloway launches gubernatorial bid, highlights experience as ‘independent watchdog’

It’s official: State Auditor Nicole Galloway is in the race for Missouri governor.

On Monday morning, the lone Democrat holding a statewide office launched her 2020 gubernatorial bid with a video touting her efforts to find government waste and criticizing a recently-passed anti-abortion law.

“It’s a broken system — the old way of doing politics,” Galloway said in the video. “As auditor, I fought it. As governor, I’ll end it.”

The formal announcement comes just days after she amended her campaign committee statement and after weeks of blasting the current administration on a variety of topics.

Galloway is the first to officially jump in the race and is widely considered the frontrunner for the Democratic Party. Republican Gov. Mike Parson has yet to declare if he is making a re-election bid — though an announcement is expected at the beginning of September. 

Galloway, 37, was originally appointed as state auditor by then-Gov. Jay Nixon following the death of Tom Schweich. She was elected to the same position in November 2018. Prior to her tenure as auditor, Galloway served as the Boone County treasurer since 2011 when she was appointed to fill a vacant post; she won re-election in 2012.

“It’s my job to be an independent watchdog for taxpayers, to shine a light on government waste, and I found lots of it,” Galloway said. She highlighted $350 million in wasted or stolen taxpayer money she said her office discovered, with audits leading to 40 criminal counts against 18 public officials. 

In her video announcement, Galloway didn’t mention Parson by name but criticized his administration and painted Jefferson City as a culture of corruption. 

“Dark money flows from corporations and lobbyists. The governor takes their money then does their bidding. Nothing gets done for you,” Galloway said.

“It’s hard to trust Jefferson City with our tax dollars. I’ve never settled for things just being the way they are and neither should Missourians. Dark money and insider deals have rigged the system against working families,” Galloway said in a campaign email.

She also took the Parson administration to task for the “outrageous” abortion bill he signed into law which bans abortions after eight weeks and has no exception for rape or incest victims. 

In recent months, Galloway has blasted Parson for late tax returns, scrutinized his travel while he was Missouri’s lieutenant governor, and criticized the attorney general for the time it has taken him to issue a legal opinion.

As of the July quarterly filings, Galloway had brought in $117,259. Parson, on the other hand, raked in nearly $120,000. Both also spent similar amounts this cycle: Galloway spent a little more than $45,000 whereas Parson spent about $42,000.

Still, Galloway significantly trails Parson when it comes to cash on hand; Galloway reported nearly $133,000 to Parson’s $1.15 million.

Meanwhile, Parson’s Uniting Missouri PAC reported more than $2.8 million cash on hand with nearly $649,000 coming in this quarter. Galloway’s Keep Government Accountable PAC reported $20,937.75 with $9,000.00 coming in this quarter — though the committee has received several large donations since the last filings.