Both major candidates running for Missouri lieutenant governor emphasize bipartisanship and their ability to work across the aisle.
During Monday’s Missourinet forum, State Sen. Mike Parson (R-Bolivar) notes he worked with Governor Jay Nixon (D) and Governor Matt Blunt (R), and with lawmakers in both parties.
“And I think if you go back to the day, whether it be right-to-farm, whether it be Proposition B, that I actually reached across the aisle, met with every Senator, Democrat and Republican, to explain to them why those issues were so important for the state of Missouri,” Parson says.
Former U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-St. Louis) notes he served in Congress under Presidents George W. Bush (R) and Barack Obama (D). Carnahan says representing Missouri’s old third district, which stretched from St. Genevieve to St. Louis, prepared him for this run.
“I co-chaired the bipartisan Center Aisle Caucus with my colleague, my Republican colleague Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau). We worked closely together to find common ground on issues across our state. That’s always been my approach,” says Carnahan.
Both Parson and Carnahan say they could work with a governor of the opposite party.
Carnahan says representing the diverse third district helped him.
“I’m presenting myself as the best candidate for lieutenant governor, but also one that I think it’s important to be able to work with the governor, regardless of who it is,” Carnahan says.
Parson says he’s worked closely with Democrats in the Legislature on numerous key issues.
“If you’re going to be a successful legislator in Missouri, you have to be able to work with a Senate, the House and the governor’s office, that’s just it. You can’t always be just one side or the other. You have to find where the ground is to move the state forward,” Parson says.
Parson served as Polk County Sheriff, before being elected to the Missouri House in 2004. He served three House terms, and is currently in his second term in the Missouri Senate.
Carnahan served as a State Representative from 2001 to January 2005. He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2004 and served four terms.
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