News Briefs

Democratic legislative leader launches campaign for Missouri governor

By: - July 9, 2023 6:55 am
Rep. Crystal Quade

Members of the House Democratic Caucus look on as Minority Floor Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, addresses the media on the final day of the legislative session on May 14, 2021 (Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications).

The top Democrat in the Missouri House officially launched her campaign for governor early Sunday morning, taking direct aim at her likely GOP rivals while touting efforts to restore abortion rights and block foreign ownership of farmland.

State Rep. Crystal Quade, 37, is the first major Democratic candidate to enter the field to replace Gov. Mike Parson next year. In an introductory video announcing her campaign, she discussed being raised by a single mom and relying on food stamps before touting her record in the legislature.

“I committed myself to working for families like the one I grew up in,” she said. “Now I’m a leader in the state House, where I’ve stood up for workers against corporate special interests, sponsored a law to stop China and Russia from buying our farmland to squeeze out Missouri farmers  and I’m leading the fight to restore our abortion rights.”

Quade is scheduled to kick off her campaign Monday in her hometown of Springfield.

She enters the race facing steep odds in an increasingly Republican-dominated state. Parson, who can’t run again due to term limits, defeated Democrat Nicole Galloway in 2020 by nearly 17 percentage points. And currently, no Democrats hold statewide office in Missouri.

Three major Republican candidates are already actively running for governor — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and state Sen. Bill Eigel.

Quade took direct aim at Ashcroft in the video, saying the secretary of state “uses fear to score cheap political points and divide us.”

In the description of the campaign video, Quade contrasted her background with two of her potential opponents, noting that Ashcroft is the scion of a well-known political family and Kehoe became wealthy after purchasing a Ford dealership in Jefferson City.

“My daddy wasn’t a U.S. senator or governor,” Quade said. “I don’t own a car dealership, or a cattle farm. I’m a mom, a social worker and a leader who builds bridges to make change.”

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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has spent two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, with most of that time focused on the Missouri statehouse as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. A three-time National Headliner Award winner, he helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.