Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announces his bid for governor in 2020

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- Missouri Governor Mike Parson has announced his bid for governor of Missouri in 2020.

The 63-year-old grandfather of six was elected lieutenant governor in 2016 and then took over as the state's top executive in 2018 after former Republican Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in the face of potential impeachment.

"Elections are about choices. We are at a critical moment in our history, with two very obvious paths we can go down," Parson said at a rally in his hometown of Bolivar, Mo. Sunday.

Gov. Parson spoke on a variety of topics including low-unemployment, and increased wages across Missouri. Gov. Parson pledged to keep unemployment low and wages strong for workers.

Gov. Parson also spoke on education, stating that Missouri must be a leader to fill high-demand jobs. He spoke on the importance of trade-schools in addition to or as an alternative to a four year degree.

A group of protesters chanted "Shame on Parson," before being ushered out of the room. The chants were met with counter-chants of "We like Mike" by the remaining crowd.

The protesters were with the group "Missouri Healthcare for All." The group is calling for Parson to find out why 130,000 people have been dropped from Missouri's Medicaid program.

State auditor Nicole Galloway, who plans to run for Missouri governor on the 2020 Democratic ticket, responded to the announcement saying in part "Missouri families cannot afford four more years of Governor Parson," citing loss of health coverage for children, issues for rural hospitals, and gun violence.

Galloway has said she will work to improve health care access and support for schools.

"If you're well connected in Jefferson City, you get what you want. Meanwhile working families don't get what they need and I'm running to change that," she said in an interview with KY3 on Labor Day.

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke in favor of Gov. Parson during the event. Ashcroft is also a former Missouri governor and served on the U.S. Senate.