Parson, Galloway offer stark differences in gubernatorial contest

Other than president of the United States, the biggest ticket on the Missouri ballot in November is the race between Republican Mike Parson and Democrat Nicole Galloway for governor.

Both Parson, the current governor, and Galloway, the state auditor, have made appearances in Southeast Missouri in recent weeks. Parson made two stops in Sikeston last month, one where he announced funding of broadband projects and another at SEMO Food Bank. Galloway was in Cape Girardeau last month for a campaign stop.

Parson was elected lieutenant governor in 2016 but took over as governor when former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in May 2018. Like Parson, Galloway’s path to office began differently than many of her predecessors. She was appointed to auditor in 2015 when former auditor Tom Schweich died while in office. Galloway was appointed by then-Gov. Jay Nixon to complete Schweich’s term. She was elected to a full term in 2018.

There are plenty of differences between Parson and Galloway, offering voters a clear contrast on policy. One example is on the issue of abortion. Parson received the endorsement of Missouri Right to Life PAC in June while NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri endorsed Galloway.

Missouri was once considered a toss-up state in presidential politics, but the state has voted for Republicans over the last several elections. While the top of the ticket doesn’t always dictate down-ballot results, the Republican trend certainly impacted the 2016 race for statewide offices. Galloway is currently the only statewide-elected Democrat. That doesn’t mean the path to victory will be easy for Republicans. Consider 2018: Galloway won the auditor’s race while Republican Josh Hawley defeated Democrat Claire McCaskill. It’s a reminder that every vote counts.