Gov. Parson makes it official: he's running in 2020

Parson to opponents: "Bring your work gloves!"

Alex Degman
September 08, 2019 - 6:56 pm
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson

Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images

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BOLIVAR, Mo. (KMOX) -- It was a star studded event at Bolivar High School Sunday afternoon.

Missouri native Billy Yates sang his hit "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair," former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft gave a stirring introduction that outlined what he feels is at stake in 2020. The entire Republican slate of statewide elected officials showed up on stage, double high-fiving the former AG as they were introduced.

But Gov. Mike Parson's announcement was what people came to see.

"I am running to be your governor in the great state of Missouri!" Parson exclaimed to the delight of hundreds packed into the gym.

Not everyone was happy to be there -- Parson was interrupted soon after his official speech began by a handful of people shouting "Shame on Parson!" He was also interrupted briefly by a chant of "Black Lives Matter," which was counteracted by boos from the crowd and the PA announcer encouraging the crowd to cheer louder for Parson.

"Free speech works both ways," Parson said later in the speech. "As somebody who has worn a military uniform, let me tell you something as clear as I can say: as your governor, I will always stand up. I will stand up for you, I will stand up for our state. I will stand up for our men and women in uniform. I will never kneel to anyone who disrespects our country or our flag."

Parson also outlined some of the things he's worked on in office that make him "passionate to work for Missouri": signing "smart budgets", keeping taxes low, workforce development, improving infrastructure and improving education.

Parson faces at least one challenger in the Republican primary: State Rep. Jim Neely (R-Cameron), a physician. State Auditor Nicole Galloway is running as a Democrat as is La'Ondrill Brown, a French teacher in the Ferguson-Florissant school district.

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