Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway is now the only Democrat elected to statewide office in Missouri. She defeated Republican challenger Saundra McDowell.
“Missourians have spoken tonight,” Galloway told the crowd of more than 50 people at her watch party in Columbia. “They want an independent watchdog in Jefferson City to hold the powerful accountable.”
Former Gov. Jay Nixon appointed Galloway as state auditor in 2015. Since then, her office has conducted audits that found Putnam County Memorial Hospital was likely being used as a “shell company” and that local law enforcement didn’t know the location of more than 1,000 registered sex offenders.
Galloway will take on an additional role since Amendment 1 passed. Galloway will be able to select candidates for the state demographer. This person will redraw boundaries for state legislative districts. Republican and Democratic leaders of the Missouri Senate would choose a demographer from the candidates the state auditor selects.
“The demographer should not be a partisan hire. This is someone that should be chosen based on qualifications,” Galloway told KBIA. “And because leaders in the Senate are going to part of the decision making process, they should included in how this selection process is designed.”
During McDowell’s campaign, the Republican raised questions about the transparency of Galloway’s office.
In December, the Missouri Alliance for Freedom filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office against Galloway. The complaint alleges that Galloway “improperly withheld or destroyed text messages sent or received” on her state-issued cell phone. The attorney general’s office cleared Galloway of wrongdoing.
McDowell faced questions during the race about whether she’s eligible to run. Missouri’s Constitution requires the state auditor to have the same qualifications as the state governor — this includes residing in Missouri for at least 10 years. McDowell moved to Missouri in 2010, according to The Columbia Daily Tribune. McDowell told The Columbia Daily Tribune she established an intent to move to Missouri before November 2008.