democratic candidate statewide

2020 statewide Democratic candidates (left to right):  Vicki Lorenz Englund, Alissia Canady, Nicole Galloway, Yinka Faleti and Rich Finneran

They are two white women, a Black woman, a white man, and a Black man born in Nigeria, five Democrats who represent some of Missouri's diversity, and they all lost their statewide elections on Tuesday to a white, male Republican by a similar, wide margin.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nicole Galloway lost her bid to become Missouri’s next governor.

Galloway, who has served as state auditor of Missouri since 2015, went live on Facebook just after 10 p.m. Tuesday to congratulate Gov. Mike Parson on his election, thank her family and encourage her supporters.

“To all the young women across Missouri who I met on the campaign trail, I want you to know that there’s nothing you can’t do. Tonight, I may have come up short, but over the past 15 months I have met so many young women who I know will be future governors of Missouri,” she said.

Galloway lost by nearly a half-million votes, 1,216,192 votes (40.6%) to Parson’s 1,713,152 (57.171%). In St. Louis County, however, she won with 59% of the vote and with 80% of the vote in the City of St. Louis.

“Over the course of this campaign we built a coalition of Missourians who are united around a few simple values: that we can no longer ignore science and the growing threat of COVID-19; that no one should be denied access to healthcare in this deadly pandemic; and that our children deserve to live in a Missouri that is fair and accountable to all of its citizens,” Galloway said.

She said it’s not about partisan politics, but about putting Missouri families first.

“While this campaign is over, our work continues. We must continue to organize, advocate and fight to ensure that our leaders put the needs of working families first and act with urgency to address the profound challenge this state faces,” Galloway said.

“For the past five years I have been proud to serve as your independent watchdog in Jefferson City. … It has been an honor of my life and you can bet I will keep demanding accountability and transparency from politicians in Jefferson City for years to come. I’m not going anywhere, Missouri.”

Parson gave his acceptance speech around the same time as Galloway. He dedicated a good portion of his speech to his wife, Missouri’s First Lady Teresa Parson, and the rest of his family.

He said he believes the state of Missouri is built on Christian principals and that people don’t want the government to tell them what to do every day.

“This election was about preserving freedom, capitalism and the rule of law,” he said. “That’s what this election was all about. However, there is more work to be done, and that work starts tomorrow as the next term for governor.”

Jerome Bauer (Green Party) and Rick Combs (Libertarian Party) were also on the ballot for Missouri governor. The former received 9,330 votes and the latter received 26,142 votes.

Democratic candidate Alissia Canady lost her bid Tuesday night to become Missouri’s lieutenant governor. Canady lost by more than a half-million votes, 1,141,225 votes (38.7%) to 1,724,050 (58.5%) for Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, the Republican appointed incumbent.

Two other candidates, Libertarian Bill Slantz and the Green Party’s Kelley Dragoo were on the ballet. Dragoo received 1% of the vote, while Slantz received 1.8%.

“Thank you for standing with me in this fight. I am impressed with the incredible progress our grassroots movement achieved in such a short time. We gave it everything we had. Together, we fought for the issues we cared about and ran an honest and direct campaign,” Canady wrote in a statement Tuesday night. 

“I am beyond grateful to everyone who gave their time, money and passion in support of my candidacy. Tomorrow, we continue our journey: for education, to end city violence and advance investment in human capital. Together, we can and will build a better Missouri. Thank you for believing in our vision and supporting our campaign. Let's stay connected.”

Canady recently told The St. Louis American that her plans as lieutenant governor included restoring the LIHTC Act with more clear policies and guidelines and focusing on early childhood education funding statewide.

She also said instead of defunding the police, governments should be working to mitigate the cause of violent crime — substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence and hopelessness.

Canady won in St. Louis County with 57% of the vote and in the City of St. Louis with 79% of the vote.

Rich Finneran is a former federal prosecutor and partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. He lost the attorney general race against appointed Republican incumbent Eric Schmitt by more than 600,000 votes. Finneran attacked Schmitt for joining a law suit to undermine the Affordable Care Act, for opposing St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner's attempt to get a new trial for a man she believes a previous prosecutor wrongly convicted, and for filing a frivolous law suit against China.

Finneran won with 56% of the vote in St. Louis County and 78% of the vote in the City of St. Louis, but his message went unheard among Missouri's rural majority. Schmitt won with 59% of the statewide vote.

Yinka Faleti had perhaps the clearest message in this campaign yet faced the longest odds. He was running against the state's chief election authority, Secretary of State John "Jay" Ashcroft, in an election that Ashcroft clearly was mismanaging. Ashcroft lost legal challenges to his deceptive ballot language for Amendment 3. Faced with challenges to receive and count mail-in ballots provided by the legislature because of the pandemic, he suggested that voters should not vote by mail rather than vow to count their votes.

Yet his name is "Ashcroft," which he inherited from one of Missouri's best-known and successful politicians. His Democratic opponent has a Yoruba name from Nigerian, "Faleti," seen by the vast majority of Missouri voters for the first time on their ballot. The top vote getter in the state, Ashcroft won by more than 700,000 votes.

Faleti, a U.S. Army veteran, promised to extend access to the vote, rather than suppress it. He vowed to fight for free and fair elections. He won with 54% of the vote in St. Louis County and 77% of the vote in the City of St. Louis. But, outstate, the "Ashcroft" name, Republican brand and continuing popularity of Trump crushed him, and Ashcroft won statewide with 61% of the vote.

Vicki Lorenz Englund, the Democratic candidate for state treasurer, encountered the same fate running against Republican incumbent Scott Fitzpatrick. Englund won with 56% of the vote in St. Louis County and 78% of the vote in the City of St. Louis, but Fitzpatrick beat her by more than 600,000 votes and won with 59% of the vote statewide.

For the two statewide amendment, St. Louis city and county actually voted with the statewide majority on one of them.

Amendment 1 lost statewide by more than 100,000 votes, 48% to 52%, and Amendment 3 won statewide by more than 50,000 votes, 51% to 49%. Both amendments were soundly defeated in St. Louis County and city.

Amendment 1 would have enacted two-term term limits for the statewide offices that have none; only the governor and treasurer have such limits.

Amendment 3 was proposed by Missouri Republicans to overturn a citizen ballot initiative passed with overwhelming statewide approval just two years ago. Ashcroft lost court challenges for deceptive ballot language, but the ballot language still appeared to deceive the voters who voted two years ago for the changes undone by Amendment 3.

The November 2018 initiative, popularly known as Clean Missouri, was a lobbying, campaign finance and redistricting initiative that was designed to provide major reform and oversight to Missouri politics. The most important element of the initiative was redistricting reform. It changed the process for how Missouri legislative districts are to be redrawn after every census. It created a less partisan process, using more objective criteria that reduces the ability to gerrymander the legislature to partisan advantage. That was undone by Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 also eliminates the requirement that state legislative maps be drawn based on total population, meaning that 1.5 million Missourians — almost all of them children — will be uncounted and unrepresented. In addition, Missouri citizens now cannot challenge gerrymandering in federal court, as did the citizens of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Voter turnout was 65% for the City of St. Louis and 78% for St. Louis County. Statewide voter turnout numbers were not immediately available.

– Dana Rieck provided reporting

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