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Republicans battle it out in primary for Missouri Governor and two state house seats

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is favored to win the Republican primary Aug. 4. Missouri State Auditor, Nicole Galloway is the presumptive winner in the Democrat primary.

Mike Parson

Both the Democrat and Republican primary ballots include many lesser-known gubernatorial candidates. Two exceptions are Dr. Jim Neely and Sandra McDowell. Neely is a four-term member of the Missouri House. McDowell is a former Missouri State employee who ran unsuccessfully against Galloway in 2018 for Missouri State Auditor.

Neely received the endorsement of Reopen Missouri, a coalition of groups that oppose extreme pandemic lockdown measures and support reopening. McDowell has sought to align herself with President Trump who has high approval ratings in the state.

But Parson, the former Lieutenant Governor who succeeded scandal-plagued Eric Greitens after Greitens resigned, is also a Trump fan. Parson has appeared with the President repeatedly over his two years in office, most recently speaking at the White House about the importance of reopening schools. Greitens also touts his independent streak and correctly points out that he was cleared of ethics charges.

Nicole Galloway

A Parson-Galloway race for Governor in November may be closer than one would assume in dependably red Missouri. Analysts say it depends on Covid numbers during the next three months and the length of President Trump’s coattails.

Galloway’s campaign has support from George Soros-related dark money organizations.

Incumbent statewide office holders—all Republicans—are expected to easily win re-election. Those include Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick.

The Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee has exclusively endorsed Parson, Kehoe, Ashcroft, Fitzpatrick and Schmitt in their respective races.

Hotly contested State Senate seat

A very hotly contested Republican primary race for an open seat for State Senate, District 31, features Cass County Auditor, Rick Brattin running against Missouri State Representative for District 56, Jack Bondon.


Brattin, who served four terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, resides in Harrisonville. Bondon lives in Belton and is completing his third term in the House. Recent polling shows the race a statistical dead heat.

Brattin is endorsed by incumbent senator for the 31st District, Ed Emery, who is terming out after eight years in that office. Most importantly, the Missouri Right to Life PAC has exclusively endorsed Brattin. His campaign emphasizes that he was a founding member of the Conservative Caucus in the Missouri House of Representatives and he is endorsed by the conservative Club for Growth.


As a sitting legislator, Bondon is endorsed by Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. Although Bondon is seen as the more moderate candidate of the two in contrast to the very conservative, Brattin, Bondon’s campaign had the jump out of the gate on fundraising and media buys on radio and TV.

Brattin’s support from the Club for Growth and other conservative groups has closed the fundraising gap in the last days of the campaign. While the two candidates battle it out for the vote in Cass county where they both reside (which constitutes just over half of the senate district) the difference may come down to the counties south of Cass that make up the rest of the district.

Emery’s endorsement of Brattin should help him in the southern counties, while Bondon’s endorsement from Missouri Farm Bureau and the Cattlemen’s Association may help him in those heavily rural counties.

Brattin and his wife, Athena—along with their children—are long-time members of Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit where Athena has served on the church staff.

He’s back

Steve West, whose candidacy has been condemned by Republican officials, is back and again running in the Republican primary for District 15 in the Missouri House of Representatives. He is opposed in the Republican primary by Adam Richardson.

As reported in the Metro Voice, West created state and national controversy when he first ran for the same seat in 2018 for his anti-semitic, Islamophobic, homophobic and racist remarks and views as a radio personality in which he used the on-air name, Jack Justice.


Steve West

In 2018, his daughter Emily West raised red flags about his views saying they were “homophobic and how he doesn’t like Jews.”

“I think it’s just insane that people are putting out his signs,” she told the Kansas City Star in 2018.

That election year, the Missouri Republican party issued a statement on West candidacy, stating that his “shocking and vile comments do not reflect the position of the Missouri Republican Party or indeed of any decent individual.”

West’s son contacted Metro Voice last week and wanted to make sure we were informing our readers of West’s past.

Adam Richardson

While West won the Republican primary in 2018, he lost the general election to incumbent Democrat, Jon Carpenter. Carpenter is term-limited from running for office again this year in Missouri House District 15, so the open seat makes the threat of West’s candidacy even more ominous than in 2018.

In an interview with the Missouri Times in February concerning his repeat run for House District 15, West stated that he’s not “backing down” as he campaigns for the seat again.

Leadership of the Missouri House of Representatives roundly condemned West’s rhetoric. Speaker of the House, Elijah Haahr, Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo and Speaker Pro-Tem, John Wiemann issued a joint statement:

“West’s abhorrent rhetoric has absolutely no place in the Missouri Republican Party or anywhere. We wholeheartedly condemn his comments. To our knowledge, no member of the Missouri Republican Party, the House Republican Campaign Committee or sitting member of the General Assembly recruited Mr. West to run for office; we find his statements to be vile, offensive, and out of line with our party’s values.

Schallhorn reported that West has called women’s athletics a “haven and breeding ground for lesbianism.” Her February 27th story also quoted West as having said, “Hitler was right about what was taking place in Germany and who was behind it.”

Speaking on his radio show about Israel, West said, “They have been running this assault on America. They have been giving us gay marriage, pornography, abortion, everything that’s anti-Christian. This is what they do. This is how they corrupt a Christian nation because they are an anti-Christ people.”

West told the Missouri Times he has taken a step back from his radio show but added he would bring it back if elected. He also told Schallhorn he is not concerned by House Republican leaders condemning his entrance into the race and certainly isn’t backtracking from his past comments.

“I’m not backing down from anything,” West has told media outlets.

Maggie Nurrenbern is running in the Democrat primary for Missouri House of Representatives District 15.