Missouri governor has lunch with Trump, Pence

File - Gov. Mike Parson, R-Mo., listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a lunch with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Washington.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (AP) -- President Donald Trump has endorsed Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's campaign to keep his seat.

Trump on Tuesday tweeted support for the Republican Missouri governor's 2020 bid. Trump says Parson is "very Popular, Strong, and knows what he is doing."

Parson faces a challenge from Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway . She's billing herself as an independent check on Jefferson City through her role as state auditor. But the Democrat faces an uphill battle in a red-leaning state where voters elected Trump by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016.

Voters didn't elect Parson governor. Instead, he was elected lieutenant governor in 2016 and then took over as the state's top executive in 2018 after former GOP Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in the face of potential impeachment.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

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