Missouri Gubernatorial Election - Show Me An Exciting Race
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has won the Republican gubernatorial primary, comfortably defeating three challengers on Tuesday. This is the first time the Governor has won a gubernatorial primary as he ascended to the top job in 2018 after the resignation of former Governor Eric Greitens (R). In a life before the pandemic, Governor Parson could have easily ran on his first-term accomplishments including signing the largest income-tax cut in the state’s history while experiencing a roaring economy. Recently, the Governor has also waded into criminal justice issues urging the Legislature to allow St. Louis to recruit new officers who live outside of the City limits, create a witness protection fund, and to increase penalties on those found guilty for supplying minors with firearms.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway defeated a handful of hopefuls on her way to victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Since her announcement last August many of her supporters, including the Democratic Governors Association, have been bullish on the young, self-proclaimed math nerd. Tackling political and systemic corruption is the campaign’s foundational messaging – and one that lends itself nicely to an auditor. Although Galloway has currently turned her focus to COVID-19 while slamming the Governor on his response.
With only a handful of competitive gubernatorial races this cycle, pundits and novice-politicos alike have pegged this race as one to watch on Election Night. During her last election Galloway was able to split tickets in eight counties that supported the staunchly conservative, now-U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R), on her way to statewide victory. It is difficult to take out an incumbent governor: however she could be uniquely positioned by cross-party appeal coupled with the unknowns of how the coronavirus will affect the race and turnout. The most recent public polling of 900 likely voters had Galloway closing the gap – the Governor was only ahead by 2 points. However, Governor Parson has a significant financial advantage at this point in the race – just prior to the primary, he boasted a $6.7 million campaign war chest, compared to Galloway’s $3.1 million. Cook rates the race as Likely Republican while Crystal Ball has it as Leans Republican. And, President Trump is still expected to win the state, though his approval rating has dropped significantly since February (and perhaps his coattails too have shortened during this time).
Missouri Down Ballot Races
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) will take on former federal prosecutor Richard Finneran (D) in the general election. Attorney General Schmitt – who was appointed to the position in 2018 – did not have a primary opponent. He has pledged to continue working on the state’s rape kit backlog, combat human trafficking, and investigate large tech companies for privacy violations and anti-competitiveness. Rich Finneran has pledged to remove the state from the lawsuit against the ACA, defend the Clean Missouri plan including nonpartisan redistricting, and to fight public corruption.
Missourians voted to expand MO HealthNet – the state’s Medicaid program – and will join the 38 other states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA. The ballot measure was moved from the November general to the primary – a move that many Democrats condemned. Now, coverage for the newly 230,000 eligible folks will begin in 2021.
Washington - No Surprises Here
Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) is vying to be only the second Governor in the state’s history to serve three terms. He secured a top two spot in the state’s crowded gubernatorial primary on Tuesday. A field of over 35 people has been winnowed down to the Governor and Republic Police Chief Loren Culp (R). Culp is pro-second amendment, anti-tax, and held – what his campaign marketed as – an in-person “Insubordinate Victory Rally” yesterday evening. It is widely expected that Governor Inslee will be victorious in November.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) also secured his spot on the general election ballot. He will face Matt Larkin (R) in November who is running as the law and order candidate, pledging to support and provide more resources to law enforcement officers and first responders.
Want more information on the 2020 Elections? Contact Meghan Holihan