Two statewide incumbents will vie on Nov. 3 for the governor’s office, although only one of them — Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway — was actually elected to her current office. The other, Gov. Mike Parson, is an accident of history after a fellow Republican, Gov. Eric Greitens, left office in disgrace and created a vacancy for the then-lieutenant governor to fill. Otherwise, Parson would remain comfortably ensconced in the powerless and largely symbolic office to which he was elected.
Galloway has withstood the heat of statewide election fervor, and in 2018 she garnered more votes than her far more famous fellow Democrat, Sen. Claire McCaskill. That’s a clear sign of Missouri voters’ ability to look beyond partisan affiliation and glean competence and leadership where it clearly exists. Galloway sailed to victory with a six-point lead over her GOP opponent. Her record of professionalism and accountability contrasts sharply with Parson’s abysmal record of failure, particularly regarding pandemic management. We recommend Galloway for governor in the Nov. 3 election.
We’ve always liked Parson’s downhome, easy-going, folksy manner. But when it comes to the hard-nosed decision-making required to run this state, he continually falls short. The Republican-dominate Legislature ignores him, as it did in the recent special session he called. Parson’s management of the pandemic has been horrendous. Because he refuses to lead, conservative counties are disregarding his tepid calls to wear masks and observe social-distancing guidelines. As a result, Missouri ranks near the top nationwide in new daily coronavirus infection rates, with Parson and his wife now counted among the victims.
His reluctant leadership has cost the economy dearly and slowed what might have been a smoother glide toward reopening schools and getting people back to work. And with violent urban crime on the rise, Parson has embraced measures that make it easier for criminals to access guns while making it more difficult for police to challenge them.
As auditor, Galloway has rigidly enforced ethical and accountability standards without political favor. Democratic local and state officials have felt the sting of her audits just as often as have Republican ones.
This election marks a crucial opportunity to end the unbroken dynasty of male occupancy of the governor’s office. It’s a particularly meaningful moment because of the Legislature’s ongoing efforts, with Parson falling in line, to restrict women’s right to control their own bodies.
On that point, voters might hear about a silly attempt by Republicans to investigate Galloway for an op-ed published on our pages last year condemning the Legislature’s emergency bill to outlaw abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy. Hers was clearly a politically driven commentary, but we noticed that one of Galloway’s government staffers had emailed the op-ed to us. So editorially, we called Galloway out for failing to uphold her own high ethical standards.
That was, as far as we can tell, the only minor chink in her substantial armor. The fact that Republicans are feigning outrage over it means they are running scared — as they should be.
Also running are Libertarian Rik Combs and the Green Party’s Jerome Howard Bauer.
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