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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As Missouri Governor Mike Parson looks ahead to his debate with Auditor Nicole Galloway, he says our state continues to beat the odds against COVID-19 and that our economy is rebounding and responding faster than most states.

The governor maintains allowing local leaders decide what’s best for the communities has been the best course of action – for example, with masks.

“When you look at the death rate in April, it was 7 percent; and today it’s 0.7 percent (in September). That’s because of some things we put in place,” Parson said. “Because of our approach and the Show Me Strong Recovery plan.”

Can Missourians feel comfortable with the plan the state has now?

“When you compare us to any states in the Midwest, we’re by far leading the pack of how we are handling situation,” Parson said.

The governor is adamant that the state’s economy is bouncing back quicker than most because of measures put in place pre-COVID.

“We’re 12th in the US at putting people back to work,” he said. “At the peak of the pandemic, 365,000 lost jobs – record numbers. As of yesterday, over 200,000 of those people are back in the work force.”

Parson sees his race with Galloway as a choice between experience. He says being a veteran, a police officer, and sheriff for 22 years, as well as a business owner and public servant in the Missouri House, has helped him lead the state through arguably its toughest ever situation.

The governor also says his work with Better Family Life and the Urban League in St. Louis City will only increase.

“One of the things I committed myself to is I’m going to get things done,” Parson said. “I’m going to change that; getting more social workers on the ground. Like figuring out how to get a million dollars to the Urban League and de-escalate violent crime.”

Parson says he’s leading state polling by a good amount in the race because Missourians know and see his team putting them first and caring about them.