Missouri voters chose Gov. Mike Parson to continue his stay in the Governor’s Mansion, this time for a full term.
Parson defeated Democratic challenger Nicole Galloway in the Nov. 3 general election to secure his office for four more years. Parson, a Republican from Bolivar, became Missouri’s 57th governor June 1, 2018, following the resignation of Eric Greitens.
With 44.6 percent of Missouri precincts reporting, Parson secured 1,036,521 votes, or about 60.3 percent of the vote at the time the Associated Press called the race in Parson’s favor.
The state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a key campaign point for Parson.
“You’ve got to take a balanced approach, and you see by doing that how well our economy has done in the state of Missouri versus most other states. People have got to go back to work, families have got to live their lives, schools have got to open back up, and we’ve still got to deal with the virus. We have to do all of the above,” Parson said.
Parson believes the state’s economic response to the pandemic and a bounce back from a climb in unemployment claims won him some favor with voters.
“We’re actually 15th in the United States right now in the recovery for our economy, we’re fifth in getting people back to work—that’s a good thing for all of us all across the state of Missouri,” Parson said.
Galloway gave a concession speech streamed on Facebook Live just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday night.
“The governor and I have our differences, but I respect the service he has provided Missourians throughout his career,” Galloway said.
Speaking at a campaign event in Ozark on Oct. 29, Parson urged a crowd of about 100 Republicans at the Christian County GOP headquarters on Marler Lane to vote for Republican candidates in all of the statewide offices up for grabs.
“This election is pretty simple, it’s about two things. It’s about socialism and freedom,” Parson said.
On a national level, Parson saw the 2020 election as a turning point for states in the face of federal government reach.
“Have you ever seen a country more divided than it is today? That’s why these governor races are important,” Parson said. “They are a firewall from the federal government—the things that I believe in so much that elections do matter.”
Parson was previously the Polk County sheriff for 12 years, state representative for the 128th district from 2005 to 2011 and state senator for the 28th district from 2011 to 2017. He was Missouri’s lieutenant governor at the time of Greiten’s resignation in 2018.