Veteran Missouri lawmaker Mike Parson, a third-generation farmer, will kick off his campaign for governor on Thursday in Bolivar where he runs a a cow and calf operation.
Parson, a Republican, joins a field that already includes Catherine Hanaway and Randy Asbury and has the potential to add several others, including John Brunner, Peter Kinder and Eric Greitens.
“I appreciate your support on Thursday as Parson for Missouri makes a historic announcement,” Parson posted on his Facebook page Wednesday. “The event is open to the public. Hope to see you there!”
The post said the announcement would be at 5 p.m. at Bolivar High School. Republicans close to Parson said he would be announcing his candidacy for governor.
Parson was outspoken on the floor of the state Senate in the wake of former state Auditor Tom Schweich’s suicide in February. Parson was critical of what he called the nasty brand of politics now practiced in the state.
“That choice (suicide) was brought on by way of the negative side of politics and the people that work under fictitious names and fictitious mailboxes. Shame on them,” Parson said at the time.
His entry into the race is yet the latest example of how Schweich’s death has roiled Missouri GOP politics. The race for governor initially was considered to be a two-person affair between Hanaway and Schweich.
Now, some Republicans believe that Hanaway was tarnished by Schweich’s passing because of her ties to Republicans involved in questionable tactics directed at the former auditor.
The result is a new wave of candidates that includes Parson and may well end up including Brunner, Greitens and Kinder as well.