COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Democratic state Auditor Nicole Galloway told supporters Tuesday night that she hoped her campaign was one they could take pride in despite her loss to Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
Supporters of Galloway gathered at the Tiger Hotel in downtown Columbia as election results rolled in Tuesday night.
Galloway, a Democrat, was hoping to topple Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who was appointed to the office after the resignation of Eric Greitens.
Galloway gave a speech about her loss to Parson. She congratulated Parson and thanked her campaign staff for their hard work. Galloway said her goal was to have a campaign Missouri residents could relate to.
"My goal was to run a campaign that would make you proud, to run a campaign that was accessible and responsive. A campaign that you could see yourself in," she said.
She also said her campaign brought people together who felt the same way about the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Over this course of this campaign we built a coalition of Missourians who are united around a few simple values. That we can no longer ignore science and the growing threat of COVID-19. That no one should be denied access to healthcare amidst a deadly pandemic," Galloway said.
Galloway said even though she came up short, she met many women on the campaign trail who could be Missouri's first governor one day.
"I'm not going anywhere Missouri. Thank you and goodnight," she ended her speech.
Galloway, a former Boone County treasurer, is state auditor and has held that position since 2015, when she was appointed. She is currently the only Democrat in a statewide office.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic was a major focus for Galloway's campaign. She has focused on rebuilding and recovering from the pandemic.
Galloway supports implementing a statewide mask ordinance, something Parson has refused to do. She has also voiced support for using a more cautious approach to getting kids back into schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Galloway has also campaigned on expanding health care in rural areas and on her support for expanding Medicaid. If elected governor, she will help implement that expansion after voters approved it in August.
She has also campaigned around expanding broadband in rural communities.
Cal Harris, senior adviser for Galloway's campaign, said Tuesday that there are several issues that brought people to the polls to vote for Galloway, and health care is the biggest one.
"Health care is really important, especially in the midst of COVID-19 which has just revealed so many disparities in our health care system already," Harris said. "Just from the various rural hospital closures that we've seen to many of the community health centers in St. Louis and Kansas City. Even in Hannibal, Missouri."
He said communities are stretched thin in trying to provide care to communities that need it the most.
Harris said the team was not concerned that Galloway's positions, such as her support for a mask mandate to fight COVID-19 pandemic, would hurt the campaign. He said the team met with small business owners across the state.
"They want real leadership, you know, they don't want to continue closing down a lot of their stores and businesses. Folks, they want their kids to go to school, so that takes real leadership and real action and unfortunately we're just not really seeing that out of the governor," he said.