ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - Mike Parson is looking to win a term of his own more than two years after taking over for Eric Greitens, who resigned due to a scandal. He is being challenged by Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway.
Parson took office in June 2018 after Greitens' resignation. Prior to that he easily won the race to become Lt. Governor in 2016, defeating Russ Carnahan. Before that he was a state senator from 2011-2017, and prior to that he was in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-2011.
Parson got his start in public office as the Polk County Sheriff in 1993.
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The Governor has pointed to the state's unemployment rate, which prior to COVID-19 reached 20-year lows, as a major accomplishment of his administration. He also touts his implementation of major infrastructure projects, 20 of which received $50 million under his cost-share program.
Critics have pointed to Parson's response to COVID-19 in the state and his refusal to implement a statewide mask mandate.
According to the state's coronavirus statistic database, Missouri ranked among the 10 worst states in both new cases per 100,000 residents and new deaths per 100,000 residents as of October 1.
The statewide positivity rate was 14.1% on that date, compared to a national positivity rate of 4.7%.
If Parson wins, he will be first Republican since John Ashcroft to serve more than one term as Missouri's governor.
Learn more about Mike Parson here.
Nicole Galloway was appointed State Auditor by Gov. Jay Nixon in 2015 after Tom Schweich committed suicide. She was re-elected in 2018 and is the only Democrat to hold statewide office in Missouri. Before becoming auditor, she was the Boone County Treasurer.
Galloway, who if elected would be the state's first female governor, has emphasized her experience as Missouri's auditor. She claims to have uncovered more than $350 million in stolen or misspent taxpayer funds, resulting in criminal charges against officials from both major parties.
Money is now pouring into Missouri TV stations from groups each trying to get their candidate elected.
Critics claim Galloway is too liberal in terms of her stance on crime and point to a lack of political experience.
Learn more about Galloway here.
President Donald Trump has endorsed Parson, and Galloway has been endorsed by Barack Obama.
Missouri has been a Republican trifecta state since 2017, meaning Republicans have held both the governor's office and both chambers of state legislature.