Yinka Faleti

Yinka Faleti, Democratic nominee for Missouri secretary of state, on election day.

The top of the ticket for Missouri Democrats was uneventful in the primary election on Tuesday, August 4. 

Democrat nominees won by huge double-digit margins for governor (Nicole Galloway) and lieutenant governor (Alissia Canady). Yinka Faleti had no opponent for secretary of state, and Vicki Lorenz Englund had no opponent for treasurer. Rich Finneran, whose race for attorney general was most competitive, still beat Elad Gross by 11%.

Galloway delivered a more than 2,000-word acceptance speech that focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.

“This virus – our victory over it and recovery from it – will be the defining issue of our time,” Galloway said.  

“The most important thing the next governor will have to do is contain the spread of the virus and rebuild Missouri’s economy. The question is: will we take the steps needed to defeat the virus and rebuild in a way that helps working people get back on their feet? Or will we continue to ignore the science, distract, and rebuild only for well-connected special interests?”

She slammed Parson for bungling the pandemic by focusing on its economic consequences at the expense of public health.

“What Governor Parson doesn’t seem to understand is that this economic crisis is caused by the public health emergency,” she said. “The economic crisis cannot be solved – schools cannot fully reopen for in-person learning – until the spread of the virus is contained.”

Both Parson and Galloway had nominally contested primaries. With nearly all precincts reporting, Parson had only 75% of the Republican vote – low for an incumbent in a primary. Galloway had 84% of the Democratic vote, but more than 50,000 votes fewer than Parson.

Faleti’s nomination for secretary of state sets him up to make history, if he can defeat Republican incumbent nominee John Ashcroft in November. Missouri has never elected an African American to statewide office.

“We know that change at the ballot box begins with being able to vote for our leaders with voter inclusion, not voter suppression," Faleti said. "I enthusiastically accept the nomination to represent Democrats in November ... to help move our state forward to expand access to voting to ensure that every eligible Missourian can vote."

However, he has his work cut out for him, since Ashcroft, who was unopposed in his primary, got more than 100,000 more votes than Faleti.

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