(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Several Missouri democrats gathered Friday night at the Pony Express Museum for the kick-off of Northwest Democrat Days.
Speakers included Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Missouri Democratic Rural Caucus Chair Cydney Mayfield, Missouri Representative Pat Conway and more.
A big focus of the night's speeches was on the upcoming elections in August and November. However, a majority of the speakers also brought up the topic of dark money in Missouri's government.
"If you think that money is not what has caused so much of the controversy and corruption and disputes to the point where we can't get along than you don't see the whole picture. It's 100 percent," Pat Conway, State Rep. (D-10), said during his speech.
Galloway also brought up corruption in Jefferson City, saying a lot of it began under former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
According to Galloway, bipartisan calls for the former governor's resignation had been coming in for almost the past five months. She said Greitens only resigned after "he was ordered to produce phone and other records involving secret communications about dark money and his secret donors."
"Under Eric Greitens, government itself was up for sale to the highest bidder," Galloway said. "In Eric Greitens, the secret donors had the loyalty that they were looking for - someone who would resign from office before ever giving them up."
Mayfield, however, steered her speech in a different direction. After the recent suicides of famous fashion designer Kate Spade and famous chef, storyteller and TV host Anthony Bourdain, Mayfield addressed the issue of mental health.
"We have a mental health crisis here in America. We have an issue that has been brewing. It knows no race, no gender, no boundaries and no economic condition. It is a foe to everyone," Mayfield said.
After the speakers, local democratic candidates running for a state senate or state representative seat that were in attendance were recognized.
Northwest Democrat Days will continue on Saturday. Guest Speakers will include U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and former Secretary of State Jason Kander, among many others.
Saturday's event will run from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Callison Hall. Tickets are $45.