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Gov. Mike Parson On His Bid For A Full Term

Gov. Mike Parson delivers his first State of the State address Jan. 16, 2019.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is running for a full, four-year term on Nov. 3.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he spoke to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jaclyn Driscoll and Jason Rosenbaum about his campaign for a full four-year term.

Parson became governor in June 2018 when he ascended to the post from the lieutenant governorship after Eric Greitens’ resignation. He easily won a GOP primary earlier this year and is squaring off against state Auditor Nicole Galloway in one of the most competitive gubernatorial elections in the nation.

Republican and Democratic groups that aid their respective gubernatorial candidates have sent millions of dollars to political action committees aligned with Parson and Galloway. The Democratic Governors Association has given more than $5 million to a Galloway-backed PAC, while the Republican Governors Association has provided about $12.5 million to a Parson-aligned PAC.

Galloway recently recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that can be heard here.

Here’s what Parson talked about on the show:

  • Why Missourians should choose him over Galloway. He also touched on whether a lower margin of victory than last time for President Donald Trump in the state would hurt his chances.
  • His administration’s response to COVID-19, as well as a plan to roll out vaccines to combat the virus throughout 2021. Both Parson and his wife, Teresa, contracted the virus but made full recoveries.
  • Missouri voters' decision in August to expand Medicaid under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act. Parson opposed that initiative but talked about how he would follow through on it if he’s elected.
  • His administration’s approach to violent crime, including whether he should have added measures aimed at bolstering police accountability to the recent special session. He also discussed what state government should do to address economic and education racial inequities.

Parson is an Army veteran, businessman and farmer who became Polk County’s sheriff in 1993. After more than a decade in that role, Parson successfully ran for the Missouri House in 2004 to represent a heavily Republican district that includes a portion of southwest Missouri.

Parson captured a state Senate seat in 2010 and was reelected in 2014. He briefly ran for governor in the 2016 election but eventually chose to seek the lieutenant governorship instead. He won a bruising Republican primary against Bev Randles before easily dispatching former Democratic U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan in the general election.

Parson served as lieutenant governor for a little more than a year before the Greitens scandal broke.

If Parson defeats Galloway on Nov. 3, he will be able to serve as governor through early 2025. But because of the way constitutional term limits for the governorship are structured, he would be ineligible to run for another four years in office.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR

Follow Mike Parson on Twitter: @mikeparson

Music: “The Impression That I Get” by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones

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Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jaclyn is the Jefferson City statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.

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