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Parson reflects on future, life in the Capital City

Parson reflects on future, life in the Capital City

June 16th, 2019 by Bob Watson in Local News

While seated for an interview on June 13, 2019, Gov. Mike Parson reflects upon one year as governor and some of the things that have transpired in that time.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

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Missouri's Constitution says Gov. Mike Parson can run for one full, four-year term after he succeeded former-Gov. Eric Greitens on June 1, 2018.

But Parson said last week he hasn't decided if he's running in 2020.

"We will make that decision probably some time around July," Parson told the News Tribune during a wide-ranging interview last week. "It's a big decision for me and my family to make.

"We've talked about it occasionally and we're still talking through it.

"But I've got five grandkids out there, and I've got a family back home."

He said part of the calculation is figuring out "how much more do you want to do? And do the people of Missouri want (me) to do that?"

He's feeling good about the job he's been doing for the first year, Parson said.

Whatever that election decision, Parson, now 63, said, "I have no desire to go to Washington, D.C.

"I have no desire for any kind of other political office. None."

Mansion living

One of the perks of being governor is having the Mansion as a special home.

"Nobody ever thought we'd be there, and we're going to cherish the time we have to be governor and first lady of the state of Missouri."

Still, when Mike and Teresa Parson get back from their European trade mission later this month, they can't go home to the Mansion because it's being renovated, with improvements to the heating and cooling systems, electrical wiring and fire safety panels, among other things.

"It's important to me," the governor said. "It's really about preserving that (building). It's important that we take care of the Mansion (and) fix the things that need to be fixed."

Then-Gov. B. Gratz Brown built the Mansion in 1870, on the site of the state's first Capitol in Jefferson City.

"I think it's our job to take care of it," Parson said. "If we're inconvenienced for four or five months, so what?

"It will be fine. We'll get to move back in and be ready for the holidays."

Appreciating, and being appreciated by, Jefferson City

When Parson became governor 54 weeks ago, he said he and his family were concerned about how they might be perceived in the new job.

"You know, you're truly an outsider when you come in here, and we didn't know how people were going to feel about us, with all the circumstances," Parson explained.

But then the first couple stepped into a downtown restaurant for dinner, and they decided to take some walks around the downtown area.

"And people have been just so good to us," the governor said. "It's remarkable.

"We just feel like we're caught between two homes now — back home (in Bolivar) — but the people up here have been tremendously good to us."