Democratic legislative leader Crystal Quade launches campaign for Missouri governor
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.”
This story was originally published in the Missouri Independent.