A day after receiving a Twitter endorsement from President Trump, high-profile Republican politicians in Missouri formally endorsed incumbent Governor Mike Parson at a press conference Wednesday at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jefferson City.
After an introduction by Missouri Republican Party Chair, Kay Hoflander, a who’s who of prominent Missouri Republicans, took the stand to offer her formal endorsement. Included were President Pro Tempore of the Missouri Senate Dave Schatz, Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Attorney General Eric Schmidt, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.
Several mentioned the unusual circumstances within which Parson took office, following the turmoil at the end of the Greitens administration. They lauded his steadying influence during this time.
After the endorsements, Parson spoke briefly, touching on low unemployment and his values.
“I believe this state is headed in the right direction,” he said. “And it’s going to continue to go in the right direction with conservative values, with Christian leadership, with moral values and the love of this state and the love of this country.”
He said that it’s the responsibility of the Missouri government to help people.
“They’re not asking for handouts, they’re asking for a hand up,” he said.
Parson also echoed a number of national Republican talking points, rebuking talk of socialism to the approval of a crowd consisting of nearly all of Missouri’s state level Republican politicians.
He went on to comment on his approval of free speech, and his understanding that it applies to both sides of the political spectrum. He added that this meant he had the right to say that “people that don’t stand for the anthem, people that don’t respect the flag, I don’t like that.”
Parson also brought up his endorsement by President Trump.
On Tuesday, the President stated his support through a tweet.
I am pleased to endorse Governor Mike Parson of Missouri. He is very Popular, Strong, and knows what he is doing – he gets it! Based on the fact that Mike has announced he will run again in 2020 for Governor, Mike Parson has my Complete and Total Endorsement!— not_real_trump (@fake_pres_trum) September 12, 2019
Parson will be facing a primary opponent in the form of Rep. Jim Neely, a physician from Cameron, Missouri.