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Gepford predicts diverse set of Democratic statewide candidates


Out of the five statewide offices up for election in 2020, only three have a Democratic candidate at this stage. But, according to the Missouri Democratic Party executive director, that will be changing next month.

On This Week in Missouri Politics, Lauren Gepford teased announcements for the down-ballot slots in early to mid-October. The all opinion-panel episode was also joined by Democratic Rep. Gretchen Bangert; Carl Bearden, founder and CEO of United for Missouri; and Jake Silverman, a political consultant.

So far, Auditor Nicole Galloway is challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Mike Parson; former-Rep. Vicki Englund is set to take on Scott Fitzpatrick for treasurer; and Elad Gross is going up against Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

That leaves Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft without a Democratic challenger — so far. 

“We have candidates that are planning to announce. … I’m not at liberty to say their names. But I will say for our secretary of state candidate — and there may be more than one, so I’m not gonna say this is the candidate, but the only one I know of right now —  I’m very excited about, he’s from [the St. Louis] region. For lieutenant governor, there’s somebody from the Kansas City side, which really help fill out the ticket. … We’ll have a diverse ticket and a majority female ticket as well,” Gepford said.

In previous years, candidates would have already been ramping up for a primary for the statewide offices. This cycle, Bangert speculated, those eyeing a run are building up support first.

“I don’t think they are just gonna throw their name in there. They want to make sure they can actually be a competitive opponent,” said Bangert.  

The panel also dove into the 2020 presidential election, the path forward for Medicaid expansion efforts, and plans to combat violent crime throughout the state.  

Be sure to check out the full episode below or at