Five Republicans are in the race to succeed Claire McCaskill as State Auditor. Among them are three members of the General Assembly, a county auditor, and the 2002 GOP candidate for Auditor.
Representative Jack Jackson of Wildwood is a retired Marine colonel and a retired test pilot for Boeing. He believes his experience in the military and in the business world qualifies him to hold the position of Auditor. Jackson rejects suggestions the Auditor should be a Certified Public Accountant, saying there are plenty of people in the office to add the numbers, the State Auditor must manage people and find the right numbers for those people to add. Jackson has sunk approximately half a million dollars of his own money into his campaign.
Senator John Loudon of Chesterfield is a licensed insurance broker who runs a public relations firm. Like Jackson, Loudon insists there is no need for the State Auditor to be a CPA because there are accountants on staff who do the actual audits. Loudon points to his record of fixing what is wrong in government, saying he will do the same thing if he is elected Auditor.
Representative Mark Wright of Springfield is a manager for a health care company that runs nursing homes and assisted living centers. Wright says his private sector background in Springfield and his public sector experience with finance in the Missouri House make him the ideal candidate. Like Jackson and Loudon, Wright is not a CPA. He quickly points to a number of previous State Auditors who were not CPAs: U.S. Senator and former Governor Kit Bond, former U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Senator, and Governor John Ashcroft, and current Auditor Claire McCaskill.
Platte County Auditor Sandra Thomas is the only CPA in the GOP race. She feels being a CPA should be a requirement for the position. Thomas says only a CPA can fully understand the duties and responsibilities of the office. Thomas, who has served as Platte County Auditor for 12 years, has two accounting degrees: A Bachelor of Science in Accounting from William Jewell College and a Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Rounding out the field of GOP candidates is Al Hanson of Concordia, who runs a prison ministry. Hanson won the Republican Primary in 2002, losing to McCaskill in the general election. Like the other three non-accountants, Hanson rejects the idea that the Auditor should be CPA. Hanson, who has a background in financial management, says that’s the kind of experience that is necessary. Hanson says the office needs a policy maker, not a bean counter.
The Primary Election is set for August 8th. [Missouri Secretary of State Elections Page]