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Nicole Galloway gears up for gubernatorial race

The lone Democrat currently holding a statewide office in the Show-Me State has begun preparations for a 2020 gubernatorial run, calling donors and union leaders to alert potential supporters of her plans, The Missouri Times has learned. 

Nicole Galloway, who has served as the state auditor since 2015, plans to challenge Republican Gov. Mike Parson — who is expected to announce his bid in August — in the 2020 election. Her official campaign kick-off is rumored to be held as early as July 1. 

Galloway’s committee had nearly $65,800 cash on hand by the April quarter filing date. Parson, however, already has more than $1 million. Both potential candidates have been engaging with donors to boost their war chests — with a Missouri Ethics Commission reporting deadline in the coming weeks. 

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.

Galloway is seen as a less controversial figure in Missouri Democratic politics. She’s largely avoided — until recent months — partisan bickering or attacks. 

Democratic state Sen. Scott Sifton, who has a voting record to back up his policies, has also been rumored to make a run for a statewide office, including governor. He had more than $313,000 cash on hand by the April quarterly filing deadline and an additional $4,700 in a PAC supporting a statewide candidacy. 

Sifton declined to comment for this story. 

Last month, Parson signed an extremely controversial bill banning abortions after eight weeks. The bill, slated to go into effect at the end of August, did not include exemptions for rape or incest victims. While the legislation has angered Democrats and some more moderate Republicans, Parson’s support for the measure will surely shore up the more conservative voters of the 63-year-old’s base. 

Galloway has been publicly critical of the abortion ban, particularly the lack of exceptions. She has also tasked Missouri’s Republican attorney general with deciding whether Parson has violated the Sunshine Law when he’s withheld certain records from public disclosure by citing First Amendment concerns. 

“It is not surprising that Nicole Galloway is looking to run for governor. She has spent the last year or so courting donors and talking to insiders about the possibility of running for governor. She built much of her staff in the auditor’s office out of political personnel and not necessarily the most qualified personnel — a lot of the staffers even come from Sen. [Claire] McCaskill’s failed U.S. Senate bid in 2018,” said Scott Dieckhaus, partner at Palm Strategic Group.