Southeast Missouri State University student publication

How the governor election could impact Missourians and their pockets

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Graphic by Allison Otto

As the Nov. 3 election approaches, Mike Parson and Nicole Galloway are the top two candidates running for Governor of Missouri.

Dan Presson, director of career services, is a Representative for Ward 1 on the City Council of Cape Girardeau and has insight on how the upcoming elections may affect the Cape Community.

“It is really important to pay attention to this election because Missouri is sort of at an impasse whenever it comes to our taxing revenue,” Presson said.

Presson said Missouri is one of the few states that doesn’t have an online sales tax.

“That is going to be one of the biggest challenges that the next governor is going to have, is fixing some of the budgetary issues within the state of Missouri,” Presson said. “We have a taxing code that needs to be changed, but changing taxes is incredibly difficult.”

Presson said Missouri has an interesting mix of different issues impacting Cape Girardeau.

“From the Cape Girardeau side of things, because we are a municipality of decent size, we get caught in a crossfire,” Presson said. “Cape Girardeau and medium-small-size cities, we need to have a bigger voice in Jefferson City, and any candidate that promises to work with rural Missouri is going to be key.”

The upcoming elections will impact the enrollment of college students directly.

“The state of Missouri does not have a set education budget. Our budget changes every single year on a state level about how much funding universities get from the state,” Presson said. “Any revenue shortage from the state of Missouri directly impacts the amount an institution receives, which directly impacts how much a student has to pay in tuition.”

Presson said this is why college students have seen increases in tuition. When revenue falls and as a government's commitment to education changes, it impacts the actual cost associated with the student.

“Taxing issues directly hit the pocketbooks of students,” Presson said.

Political Science Professor Jeremy Walling believes the way COVID-19 is and will be handled by the candidates is a huge factor regarding the elections and will dictate what the impact will be for Missouri citizens.

“What governor Parson is trying to do is kind of leave it up to the community level to define what their response is,” Walling said.

Walling said Parson’s approach to COVID-19 is representative of the Republican point of view.

Nicole Galloway’s approach is slightly different.

“The problem that you get into with Nicole Galloway’s perspective is you’re saying, ‘Well, this is how I would’ve handled this if I had been governor,’” Walling said. “That’s different then saying, ‘Here’s what I will do when I’m governor.’”

Walling said Galloway is in a position to say if you elect her, then she will approach this differently than the way it’s been approached until now.

“One of the things I know she’s calling for is a statewide mask order,” Walling said. “She’s right out of the gate saying that she won’t allow local communities to find that aspect of the response; the state will find that response.”

Walling said what continues to happen with COVID-19 is going to affect what the governor is able to do or not do regarding the direct impact of college students.

In 2018, Parson was sworn in as governor after the resignation of Eric Greitens. Initially, Parson was a candidate for governor in the 2016 election but switched to run for lieutenant governor and won. He also won the general election on Nov. 8, 2016.

Parson is a member of Missouri’s General Assembly, which sponsored and co-sponsored several landmark pieces of legislation, including Missouri’s Castle Doctrine that strengthened the 2nd Amendment rights.

According to Ballotpedia, Parson was a member of the Missouri State Senate from 2011 to 2017. He served as Majority Caucus Whip in his first term. Parson was a member of the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011.

Since Parson took office, he and his administration have made it a priority to combat violent crime to protect Missourians.

These actions include being committed to state personnel to support federal task forces and other operations in St. Louis, modifying and creating several provisions relating to dangerous felonies, granting money to the Urban League of St. Louis to expand violent crime de-escalation and Neighborhood Healing Work.

Parson’s other priorities include advocating for agriculture legislation, reducing firearms regulation, restricting access to abortion, decreasing taxes and decreasing government spending.

Nicole Galloway, the representative for the Democratic Party, has served as Missouri’s State Auditor since 2015.

Her educational background isn’t in politics. She attended Mizzou where she earned her MBA and became a licensed CPA. Galloway eventually became a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Galloway later went on to serve as Boone County’s Treasurer and then Missouri’s State Auditor.

Galloway has uncovered more than $350 million in stolen and/or wasted tax money as well as brought more than 60 criminal accounts against public officials from both Republican and Democratic parties.

According to Galloway’s campaign, she plans to expand on Medicaid, restore coverage for children, keep rural hospitals open and implement an agenda to help Missourians cover their cost of health care.

These actions will include ending the Parson Administration’s health care, lowering prescription drug prices, enshrining protections for Missourians with pre-existing conditions into state law, and addressing opioid addiction and mental health difficulties.

In addition to helping Missourians, Galloway has an agenda specifically for Black Missourians.

Taking action looks like working with the legislature to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, gender, identity, sexual orientation or national origin.

Her plan consists of ensuring 20% of the Department of Economic Development Small Business Grants go to minority-owned businesses, prioritizing development of places and businesses that address communities like grocery stores, public transit and community spaces.