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Parson, Galloway commit to MPA debate; Galloway calls for three more

Austin Huguelet Springfield News-Leader
Democratic state Auditor Nicole Galloway speaks in 2019 Jefferson City. Galloway and Republican Gov. Mike Parson have agreed to a Missouri Press Association-sponsored debate and Galloway is seeking three more debates in the race for governor.

Missouri voters will get a chance to see the two major party candidates for governor side-by-side at least once before voting in November.

Representatives for Republican Gov. Mike Parson and Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway told the News-Leader this week both candidates are committed to participate in a Sept. 25 event put on by the Missouri Press Association.

The exact time and location of the event have yet to be determined.

MPA Executive Director Mark Maassen said in an interview the association is still working through details after having to scrap a forum originally scheduled as part of the press association’s annual convention, which was canceled due to COVID-19.

Locations under consideration include the State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia. Maassen said the MPA is also looking at ways to televise the event for those unable to attend.

Galloway on Wednesday also challenged Parson to three additional debates, with one in Kansas City, another in St. Louis and another “outside of the two major metropolitan regions.”

Her campaign said each debate should include a newspaper that is a member of the Missouri Capitol News Association, of which the News-Leader is a member, as well as a radio station and a TV station.

“Outlets that serve and represent Missouri’s Black community, like The St. Louis American, and Hispanic community should also be included as partners,” a statement read.

Steele Shippy, Parson’s campaign manager, declined to directly address the challenge when asked about it Friday but said the governor is interested in debates.

“Governor Parson believes we should have debates and other opportunities to discuss Nicole Galloway's extreme left positions,” he said. “We have already confirmed one debate, and are processing other invitations from many organizations throughout Missouri.”

Austin Huguelet is the News-Leader's politics reporter. Got something he should know? Have a question? Call him at 417-403-8096 or email him at ahuguelet@news-leader.com.

Gov. Mike Parson speaks to lawmakers in 2019.