Republican state Sen. Parson running for Missouri governor - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Republican state Sen. Parson running for Missouri governor

(Source: Nichole Cartmell/KFVS) (Source: Nichole Cartmell/KFVS)
 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Republican state senator who had endorsed Tom Schweich's campaign for governor before the state auditor's suicide says he's running for the office himself.

Mike Parson formally announced his candidacy Thursday in his hometown of Bolivar, vowing to keep his campaign positive.

He was in Cape Girardeau on Friday to make his announcement.

Parson publicly decried smear campaigns after his friend, Schweich, fatally shot himself on Feb. 26.

A political consultant with ties to fellow gubernatorial candidate Catherine Hanaway footed the bill for an attack ad that criticized Schweich as weak. Police say it's unclear why Schweich shot himself.

Parson's candidacy will mean at least a three-way GOP primary for the office.

Parson was elected to the state House in 2004 and the state Senate in 2010. He owns and operates a cow-and-calf operation near his home.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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