Former special U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Tom Schweich formally enters the Republican race for State Auditor in 2010 as he launches a whirlwind tour of nine Missouri cities in which he is announcing his candidacy.
Tuesday’s events began with a kick-off announcement in Schweich’s hometown of St. Louis, followed by stops in Columbia, Kansas City, and Springfield. Wednesday’s scheduled stops are in Hannibal, Kirksville, St. Joseph, Joplin, and Cape Girardeau.
Schweich has never run for public office but did give some thought to the idea of running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO). In an interview with the Missourinet, Schweich said it was during the time he considered the Senate run that it was suggested he mull over the idea of running for State Auditor.
"At the same time I was looking at the Senate race," said Schweich. "A lot of people, both in the private sector – businesspeople – as well as public officials said, you know, with your background in investigations as a prosecutor – I’ve conducted financial audits – you really have the experience needed to be a credible candidate for Auditor and you ought to think about that."
Schweich believes that while financial audits are important, performance audits are needed, as well.
"When I was in the State Department in the Law Enforcement Bureau, I did performance and accounting audits of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars," said Schweich. "In order to really make sure taxpayer money is being well spent you don’t just audit the books, you audit the way they’re running the office."
Schweich is the second Republican in the race for State Auditor. Missouri House Budget Chairman Allen Icet (R-Wildwood) previously announced his intention to seek the office. Schweich is confident he will be able to raise the money needed to wage a competitive campaign.