Missouri Governor

41 Action News wants to help you make an informed decision during the 2020 Primary Election on August 4. We reached out to the campaigns for the Missouri Gubernatorial candidates. Here's where Democrat Eric Morrison and Republicans Saundra McDowell, James Neely and Raleigh Ritter stand on the issues.

Note: We did not receive a response from Mike Parson, Nicole Galloway or Jimmie Matthews. We could not locate valid contact information for Antoin Johnson, Robin John Daniel Van Quaethem, Rik Combs or Jerome Howard.

Survey Responses
  • COVID-19
  • Health Care
  • Abortion
  • Policing
  • Crime
  • Immigration
  • Final Thoughts

Question: What role should local and state health officials play in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Information only
  • Guidelines only
  • Mandatory requirements for business, but not individuals
  • Mandatory requirements for businesses and individuals, subject to policymaker approval

Question: Should locally owned small businesses receive a higher priority for CARES Act funding than publicly traded or multinational corporations?

All surveyed candidates answered "Yes."

Question: Considering the pandemic, do you believe K-12 classrooms should reopen in the fall?

Question: Should parents be given the option of virtual classes for their children?

All surveyed candidates answered "Yes."

Question: If students return to the classroom in Fall 2020, do you believe they should be required to wear masks?

“I believe the Stay at Home Order issued by our Governor was unconstitutional and it has crippled our Missouri businesses and communities. Mandatory masks, contact tracing, and other restrictions are continuing to cripple our economy. I believe our state needs to open everything immediately with no restrictions. If those who are more at risk such as the elderly or individuals with underlying health conditions more susceptible to contracting the virus with possible death, would like to wear a mask or stay home, then they should, but it should be up to the individual. The government should not be mandating these things.”

“This is a very complex situation for our institution of learning. This will be difficult especially while this virus is still around. But there must be a starting point.”

Health Care

Question: Should Missouri expand Medicaid for persons 19 to 64 years old with an income level at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, as set forth in the Affordable Care Act?

“Ultimate it is up to the Voters of Missouri. Medicaid Expansion will likely yield short term savings to the State and increased access to Healthcare for Missourians. - The down side is that if the Federal Funding formula is changed it could place too large of a burden on the State Budget yielding a severe problem.”

“We do have issues with healthcare as it is way too expensive and there are those that cannot afford it. However, medicaid expansion is not the answer. I believe there are other solutions to this problem and as Governor, I will find them. Medicaid expansion will put us even more in debt and will not actually fix the problems we have with the lack of access to healthcare. Medicaid expansion is not what Missouri needs.”

“Affordable health care should not be an issue in the riches country. No one should have to neglect paying daycare in order to pay for prescription medication.”

“Who is going to pay for this extension and who exactly is going to benefit the citizens or the private companies ( 3 Private Companies now run the Medicaid program and are receiving an enormous ( over 170 million dollars each month from the State) amount of income, they are now in charge of Medicaid. We do not have the funds available to keep expanding programs that are already in a financial mess. I am for lowering taxes, not raising them.”


Question: Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer."

James NeelyRaleigh RitterSaundra McDowellEric Morrison
Must be performed by licensed physician
Must be performed in a hospital after a specified point in pregnancy
Gestational limits
State funding for abortions when the woman's life is in danger
State funding for abortions when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest
Coverage by private insurance
Individual health care providers can refuse to participate
Public institutions can refuse to perform abortions
Private or religious institutions can refuse to perform abortions
State-mandated counseling before an abortion
Waiting period between counseling and the procedure
Ban all abortions
Prefer not to answer

Additional comments:

“I do not believe abortion should be used as birthcontrol, there will be extenduating circumstances such as rape, mothers health etc.”

“I believe life begins at conception and any taking away of an unborn baby's life is murder. As Governor, I will assign an Unborn Person Advocate within the Governor's office to monitor, report, and recommend legislative and policy changes. I will actively pursue all available legislative options to stop abortion and protect the lives of unborn babies.”

“My position on Abortion. I am anti-abortion but I am pro-choice. I believe in God and that God determines life. Jeremiah 1:4-5 states that before we were formed in our mothers womb I knew you. But God does not force His will upon us, so no government should force its will upon any woman.”

Note: Raleigh Ritter did not provide additional comment on abortion.


Question: Some cities are now discussing the process of defunding the police. The result would mean reallocating some funding to other forms of public safety and community support, including social services, housing, education and health care. Do you support defunding the police?

Question: The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 could implement the following ways to reform policing and hold police officers accountable. Mark the mandates you support. Any mandate left unmarked will indicate you do not support it unless you check "Prefer not to answer."

Saundra McDowellEric MorrisonJames NeelyRaleigh Ritter
Ban racial & religious profiling
Ban no-knock warrants
Ban chokeholds
Mandate data collection on police encounters
Require body cameras
Limit military equipment used by police departments
Establish independent prosecutors for police investigations
Mandate that deadly force be used only as a last resort (requires officers to use de-escalation techniques)
Eliminate qualified immunity
Mandate state and local law enforcement agencies report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age
Prefer not to answer

Additional comments:

“I support law enforcement and will have their back. They are deserving of the support of the elected officials .. We need to look at the prosecuting attorneys and justice system as it is today... we are a society of law and order. We need a good clean out of our judicial system. Disorder comes with lack of faith and trust in the system. Not to say there are not bad police officers out there, there are bad workers in all occupations.”

Note: The other three candidates did not provide additional comment on the Justice in Policing Act of 2020.

Question: The Kansas City Police Department is the only department in the state that is governed by a state-appointed board of police commissioners. Do you believe KCPD should be under local control?

“St. Louis, Kansas City and now even Springfield are on the list of top 10 most dangerous places to live in the United States. In 2012, a statewide vote gave St. Louis control over its police board and since then the crime and violence has only increased. Therefore, doing the same thing in Kansas City would not resolve any issues. Missouri needs other major changes in our cities to eradicate the crime and violence that is continuing to escalate each year.”

“When the local community representatives LIVE in the city it services, they understand the local needs and can better access and provide the needed policing and solutions for a segue environment.”


Question: In an effort to reduce violent crime, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas called on the state to enhance witness protection funding in Missouri. Do you support enhancing witness protection funding?

Question: Advocates for criminal justice reform say ending the bail system could help curb mass incarceration. Do you believe the cash bail system should be eliminated?

  • Yes, for all offenders
  • Yes, but for non-violent offenders only
  • No

“We need violent criminals off the streets...we need to enforce the laws we have now instead of creating more laws that will not be enforced... Certainly I am Law and Order, we need the judicial system to step up and do their job....”


Question: The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Do you agree or disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision?

“If these individuals are contributing members of society and are willing to become United States Citizens!”

Final Thoughts

Question: What is the most important issue of this election?

“The Constitutional Rights of Missourians”

“This election is instrumental in returning the power back to the people of Missouri the way that it should be. Political consultants, lobbyists and crooked politicians have consolidated their power by kickbacks, back door deals, and cronyism that the people are not aware of because of the lack of transparency in government. This has gone on for far too long and the people of Missouri are seeing the effects. The swamp in Jefferson City must be drained along with Washington D.C., and I will do everything in my power to do so.”

“Health care is the most important issue.”

“Getting the State opened back up, assisting the citizens that have been hurt due to the lock down and cleaning up the "Establishment". Getting rid of mandates....masks, vaccinations etc...”