Saundra McDowell makes a stop on the campaign trail in Springfield

Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 6:01 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -The gubernatorial primary elections are coming up next month in Missouri. Saundra McDowell is running against Gov. Mike Parson.

On Saturday, McDowell made a stop in Springfield to host a meet-and-greet and answer questions people had about her campaign.

McDowell isn’t new to state politics. In 2018 she ran for state auditor and lost. During that campaign, numerous accusations were made against her eligibility and credibility.

“A lot of good candidates do not run for office because they are concerned that anything from their past is going to be brought up in some negative light and it’s going to be twisted,” McDowell said.

To run for both auditor and governor, you have to be a 10-year resident of Missouri. McDowell’s residency was called into question in her 2018 race because she had intent to live in Missouri. She said, in the eyes of the law, intent counts as residency and she had every right to run.

“I graduated law school in 2010 and so I was already graduated, already here in Missouri, already taking Missouri bar before the election date, so it’s definitely not an issue this year, but it really wasn’t then either,” she said.

That’s not the only accusation made against her. McDowell’s finances were also called into question ahead of the 2018 race. She was involved in multiple lawsuits and people were concerned if she had the capability to handle the state budget when it seemed she was struggling with her personal finances.

McDowell says the lawsuit was a contract dispute case that she lost and it doesn’t accurately represent her ability to handle money.

“They can continue to talk about this all they want. I did in 2018, and they did in 2018. It did no good, and it won’t do any good this year either,” she said.

One of the nearly 15 people who showed up to the meet-and-greet was Pearl Haining. She said she came to the meet-and-greet because politics needs a new voice.

“Any elected official is a servant of the people,” Haining said. “We elect them and they’re there to represent us and to further our interests in the best way possible. I think a lot of times that gets lost.”

McDowell said her gubernatorial campaign is already seeing more support than when she ran for auditor.

“This year I come in and they’re already cheering and so excited that I’m running for governor. So it’s not what I thought it would be,” McDowell said. “It’s pretty amazing, but it also shows me that Missouri wants somebody different. Missouri wants change.”

McDowell’s next stop is in Branson on Saturday, July 18.

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