2020 Missouri Governor Candidate Guide

Nicole Galloway - Democrat
Nicole Galloway - Democrat
Mike Parson - Republican (Incumbent)
Mike Parson - Republican (Incumbent)

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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – Supported 2020 ballot measure to expand Medicaid, an option available as part of ACA, known as Obamacare?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. Backed Medicaid expansion “to give over 200,000 … Missourians the health care they deserve, return 100,000 eligible kids their insurance and keep our rural hospitals open.”

Mike Parson – No. Called Medicaid expansion a “massive tax increase that Missourians cannot afford.” “I don’t think it’s the time to be expanding anything in the state of Missouri right now.”

CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Require more disclosure about the sources of campaign financing?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. “As auditor, I’ve witnessed firsthand how our government works for insiders and special interests. … That’s why I’m making campaign finance reform a priority.”

Mike Parson – No. Opposed 2018’s Constitutional Amendment One, which subjects lawmakers to open-records laws, limits lobbyist gifts, and limits partisan legislative redistricting.

COVID-19 – Tighter or looser restrictions to control pandemic?

Nicole Galloway – Tighter. Wants new strategy including a mask requirement, “universal testing,” more PPE and better guidance for schools. “We need a plan that keeps all Missouri families safe.”

Infected children, risk infecting teachers, bus drivers, janitors, food service workers, parents, grandparents and neighbors.

Mike Parson – Looser. Against mask requirements. “I don’t think that it is government’s role to mandate who wears one.” For early school reopening. Some kids will catch COVID at school but “will get over it.” They won’t have to go to hospitals or doctor’s offices.

COVID-19 ECONOMIC RESPONSE – Focus of economic response to coronavirus pandemic?

Nicole Galloway – Galloway’s Covid-19 recovery plan includes paid sick leave, unemployment benefits, increased funding for county governments and support for small businesses.

Mike Parson – June recovery plan calls for “no statewide public health order — Missouri will be fully open for business.” Offers guidance including social distancing in workplace.

EDUCATION – Increase K-12 public funding? Stand on higher ed funding?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. Eliminate big business giveaways. Put more money in classrooms, pay teachers what they deserve, expand pre-kindergarten. Students deserve to pursue higher education without accruing mountains of debt.

Mike Parson – No. Made cuts in state K-12 budget and higher ed to meet COVID-related shortfalls. “We’ve had to face the reality of the situation and make some extremely difficult decisions.”

EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?

Nicole Galloway – No. Wants tighter oversight of charter schools. “Using tax $ to fund charter schools” weakens public schools. Will “strengthen the state’s commitment to public schools.”

Mike Parson – Yes. Declared week of Jan. 26 “Missouri School Choice Week” as a “nonpartisan” effort to shine a “positive spotlight on effective education options for students.”

ENVIRONMENT –  Tighten or loosen environmental laws?

Nicole Galloway – No position found.

Mike Parson – Loosen. Signed law barring localities from issuing environmental rules on large farms to “keep … agriculture production in our state.”

GUN LAWS – Enact more restrictive gun legislation?

Nicole Galloway – Some. For “common sense gun safety reforms” including universal background checks and closing loopholes on private sale of firearms.

Mike Parson – Mixed. Co-sponsored stand-your-ground law expanding allowable deadly force to protect property. Supported conceal carry for school employees. But supported restrictions on ownership by minors and violent offenders.

IMMIGRATION – Support DACA program for residents brought to U.S. as children?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. Thanks to Supreme Court, “more than 5,500 DREAMers [in state can] live, learn, and work … without … fear of deportation.”

Mike Parson – No position found. Voted to prohibit state benefits or ability to receive driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.

LABOR – Support “right- to-work” laws, eliminating unions’ ability to mandate dues for workers they represent?

Nicole Galloway – No. By rejecting “right-to-work” legislation at the ballot box, Missouri has proved labor “is a force to be reckoned with.” “I’ll always have the back of” working people.

Mike Parson – Yes. As governor, backed “right-to-work” ballot measure. When it failed, had his staff explore feasibility of similar county-level laws.

LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?

Nicole Galloway – Legal. Missouri families need to know they have access to the constitutional rights granted under Roe v. Wade. “I trust women to make their own health care decisions.”

Mike Parson – Ban. Wants to make Missouri the “most pro-life state in the country.” Signed bill to ban abortion at eight weeks with only exception to prevent death of the mother, but not for rape or incest.

LGBT RIGHTS – Support same-sex marriage and protection from discrimination in employment, education, adoption, credit, housing, and public services?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. “All marriages … deserve to be respected.” Called Supreme Court decision to protect LGBTQ Americans “an enormous win for equality and fairness.”

Mike Parson – Mixed. Has said “I’m old school. I know what’s going to happen to these people.” Clarified since that “I don’t believe in discrimination.”  “Anyone [who] … chooses to live that, that’s their choice.”

MARIJUANA – Should state legalize marijuana?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. Supports legalization that includes expunging criminal records.

Mike Parson – No. Does not favor recreational legalization. OK with medical use. Criticism about clients of a close ally being favored in securing medical licenses.

MINIMUM WAGE – Support raising state minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. Supported Proposition B, which will raise state minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. “Every worker deserves a living wage.”

Mike Parson – No. Did not support Proposition B and says he does not support raising minimum wage “at this time.”

PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Support Planned Parenthood’s receiving public funds for non-abortion-related care?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. “I trust women to make their own health care decisions. … I’m not scared to say that.” Endorsed by Planned Parenthood.

Mike Parson – No. Signed budget that eliminated PP Medicaid reimbursement for non-abortion services like cancer screening, STD testing, and birth control.

POLICE/COMMUNITY ISSUES – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Nicole Galloway – Yes. Supports ban on choke holds and no-knock warrants. “The disparities in our criminal justice system are real.” Must make Missouri accountable to all citizens.

Mike Parson – No. “Now is the time to ‘stand up and support’ law enforcement.” Officers need to have the “tools” to fight violent criminals.

TAXES – Support cuts in state taxes?

Nicole Galloway – No. As auditor, said, “Years of tax cuts and giveaways” have put state in situation where “downturn will lead to big cuts in education, transportation and other services.”

Mike Parson -Yes. Cut income taxes in 2018 on top of significant 2014 tax cuts.

VOTING RULES – Support stricter ID requirements and other rules on voting?

Nicole Galloway – No. “Missouri’s notary requirement [to vote by mail] is voter suppression — especially during a pandemic. It makes voting absentee more difficult by design.” 

Mike Parson – Yes. As state senator voted for constitutional amendment to require photo ID and prove citizenship. Signed bill allowing voting by mail only if ballots are notarized, except if the voter is susceptible to COVID.

Other candidates include Rik Combs (Libertarian) and Jerome Bauer (Green). Due to limited space, we can only include candidates polling 15%, but check out their websites.

Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.