Nicole Galloway Wins Missouri Auditor Race, a Lone Democrat in a Red State

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Nicole Galloway has won election to the job former Governor Jay Nixon appointed her to. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI
Nicole Galloway has won election to the job former Governor Jay Nixon appointed her to.
Missouri now has two Republican U.S. senators, a Republican governor and a Republican secretary of state — and thanks to Josh Hawley's ascension to the Senate, it will be getting a new Republican attorney general soon. That all-red leadership group might have seemed unthinkable just two years ago, when Jay Nixon, Chris Koster, Jason Kander and Claire McCaskill all held state-wide office.

But one Democrat managed to beat back the state's multi-year red wave — Auditor Nicole Galloway. Appointed by Nixon to fill the seat left open by Tom Schweich's suicide, Galloway worked hard (even during a time she was giving birth to her third child) and campaigned hard. Last night, final but unofficial state returns showed her taking 50.3 percent of the vote. Republican Saundra McDowell took just 44.6 percent.

The results show, perhaps, that you can't just be any Republican and win in Missouri, not even in 2018. A political newcomer, McDowell raised just $18,000 and drew negative press coverage for her personal financial problems. She was not, suffice it to say, the candidate that the GOP had hoped would emerged from this summer's primary.

But for the Democrats, Galloway's win is a rare victory in Missouri — and it could be a crucial one as Clean Missouri's reforms put significant redistricting power in the hands of someone appointed by, yes, the state auditor. Galloway may be the last Democrat standing, but she could have an outsized impact on the state's future.

Incidentally, Galloway garnered 84.6 percent of the vote in St. Louis city. That's a percent higher than Claire McCaskill, and comes even as she's in the process of a major audit of the city. For once, an intervention in city politics from Jefferson City has been thoroughly welcome.

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About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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