JEFFERSON CITY – Business leaders are honoring Gov. Mike Parson a year out from the gubernatorial election.
Parson, who was elevated to the position following the resignation of Gov. Eric Geitens in May 2018, was honored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce & Industry at its annual business awards evening on Nov. 14.
The governor was named Man in the Arena, the chamber's highest award to government figures, at the gathering in Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson
While the governor did not respond to a request for comment on the award and other issues, Chamber President Dan Mehan described him as a "champion."
“Mike Parson is a champion for Missouri," Mehan said. "He is a champion for our economy, and he embodies the spirit of our Man in the Arena award.
"What he has done during his short time as governor is remarkable," Mehan said. "Thanks to Gov. Parson’s unifying leadership, we have a state where the governor, our legislators and the business community are all working together to move Missouri forward.”
The Chamber flagged up what it described as the radical restructuring of the state's workforce training, including the Fast Track and One State programs, as among the governor's successes.
His championing of Missouri as a place for business development, the improvement of the transportation system, and an effort to speed up infrastructure were also cited by the chamber ahead of the award being presented.
Parson, a longtime member of the Missouri legislature as a representative and senator, will face a primary challenge next August from Rep. James Neely, who was first elected in 2012.
Four Democrats have announced their intention to run in their party's primary, including State Auditor Nicole Galloway, the most high-profile of the candidates.
Galloway launched her campaign in August with a video in which speaks of uncovering $350 million in waste and contributing to the filing of charges against scores of officials, according to a report by the Springfield News Leader.
She also took aim at Parson, with the video suggesting that the governor was in the pocket of corporations and lobbyists.