Parson, Galloway to debate in four-way forum in Columbia

Rudi Keller
Nicole Galloway and Mike Parson

The four candidates for Missouri governor — major party contenders Mike Parson, the incumbent Republican, and Nicole Galloway, the state auditor and Democratic nominee, and two minor party candidates — will meet Sept. 25 for a forum at the historic Missouri Theatre in Columbia.

The Missouri Press Association, which presents candidate forums during annual meetings held in election years, will sponsor the event. The association was forced to cancel an in-person meeting for the 154th Annual Convention and Trade Show due to COVID-19 concerns.

There will be no audience in the theater and a limited number of reporters for the event that begins at 2 p.m. Sept. 25. The forum will be broadcast on KOMU-TV, which is co-sponsoring it with the press association.

Parson became governor in May 2018 following the resignation of Gov. Eric Greitens, who faced indictment and possible impeachment. He was elected lieutenant governor in 2016 and previously served as a state senator, state representative and sheriff.

Galloway was appointed auditor in 2015 following the death of Tom Schweich and won election to a full term in 2018. Previously she had been treasurer of Boone County.

The two minor party candidates are Rik Combs of the Libertarian Party and Jerome Bauer of the Green Party. Combs is a retired Air Force officer who lives in Jefferson City. Bauer is an academic with a doctorate in Sanskrit Religious Literature from the University of Pennsylvania who has been a community activist in St. Louis.

David Lieb, the Associated Press' chief correspondent in Jefferson City, will moderate the forum. Candidates will be questioned by media members representing KOMU, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the Missouri Press Association.