Governor Mike Parson announced his bid for the Missouri Governor’s Office on Sunday in Bolivar, in the county he had previously served as sheriff before he successfully ran for State Representative, then for State Senator then for Lt. Governor. He then moved into the Governor’s office upon the resignation of former Governor Eric Greitens. Parson said that he felt the call to “serve again” and “to ensure the American Dream is never out of reach for anyone willing to work for it.”

Other candidates running for governor include fellow Republican Jim Neely, a state Representative from northwest Missouri’s Cameron and State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat from central Missouri’s Columbia.

His roughly 30-minute speech also entailed some traditional GOP talking points, such as fighting against abortion, free college tuition and free healthcare. He said America is at a critical moment.

“I want to create opportunities for education. Key word – opportunities. When these politicians say the word free – we all know what that means. That means you and I are going to have to pay for it. When it comes to government, nothing is free,” said Parson. “Now is the time to defend who we are. Now is the time to come together. Now is the time to stand up for Christian and family values. Now is the time to lead with honor and integrity. Now is the time to stand up for the American dream.”

“There’s only one place in the world where someone from a small rural town with modest means could have the opportunities I have had,” Governor Parson said. “To serve my country in an Army uniform. To serve my community in a Sheriff’s uniform. To complete my dream of starting and owning a small business. To enter public service and serve my community and state. These experiences are only possible in this country under the red, white and blue of the United States of America.”

Governor Parson opened his campaign with his list of accomplishments, focusing on how he had reorganized the bureaucracy in Jefferson City, cut taxes and ended the “border war” with Kansas.

When he was first elected to statewide office, Parson successfully fought a Dept. of Mental Health decision to close the Southwest Mental Health facility in El Dorado Springs.

Political analysts have noted that Parson has been calm and understated compared to his predecessor, former Governor Eric Greitens, who resigned the Office in 2018. They think this may improve his chance with voters.

The Governor also received the support of Former U. S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, who spoke at the event.

Auditor Nicole Galloway, who is also running for Governor in 2020 as a Democrat, released a statement saying, “Missouri families can’t afford four more years of Governor Parson.” She says that Governor Parson is out of answers and is trying to deliver for well-connected insiders, citing the recent controversy over the Governor calling a special session to address auto sales tax, but ignoring a request for a special session on gun violence. Galloway says she “look[s] forward to holding the Governor accountable on the issues.”