A political newcomer challenges an incumbent in the race for State Auditor.

Republican Tom Schweich, a lawyer, has served in government for years, serving in various roles in the federal government. Former Missouri United States John Danforth selected Schweich as his Chief of Staff in the federal investigation of the Waco incident. Schweich followed Danforth of the United Nations when he served as ambassador. There, he worked for Danforth, Anne Patterson and John Bolton. Schweich also worked at the State Department.

As for his race for Auditor…

“I expect a race that’s on the issues about what we need in terms of the state auditor in light of the current economic conditions in the state, in light of the status of the federal stimulus funds,” Schweich tells the Missourinet. “It should be a race on the issues.”

Schweich takes on incumbent Democrat Susan Montee, a CPA and attorney, who has occupied the office for nearly four years. She welcomes a race on the issues, when she thinks of it as a race.

“Well, you know, I haven’t really thought about it in terms of a ‘race’. I’m hoping that it runs the same way I ran my last race in that we talk about the issues and what happens in the Auditor’s office,” Montee tells the Missourinet.

Montee says the public focuses on high-profile audits. She doesn’t necessarily focus on those, but on the overall work of the office. Montee says her office cleared up a back-log of audits of municipal courts throughout the state, some of which hadn’t been audited in more than 10 years. She says those audits revealed some outright fraud.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:60 MP3]