Missouri auditor and gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich has died after suffering what sources say has been called a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Clayton. His office confirmed the auditor’s passing in an e-mail.
Schweich, 54, was sworn in for his second term as state auditor in January and later that month announced his candidacy for governor in the 2016 campaign cycle. He and his wife, Kathy, have two children.
The state House, which had adjourned for the week, re-opened to host a prayer service for Schweich and his family. Legislators from both chambers, other elected officials, staff and members of the media were visibly shaken and saddened during the somber gathering.
Reaction to Schweich’s death began coming in from across the world of Missouri public service. In a statement, Governor Jay Nixon (D) called Schweich, “A brilliant, devoted, and accomplished public servant who dedicated his career to making Missouri and the world a better place.”
Nixon continued, “From his courageous work to combat the illegal drug trade abroad in Afghanistan to his tireless efforts to protect the interests of taxpayers here in Missouri, Tom Schweich’s exceptional intellect and unwavering dedication to public service left a legacy that will endure for many years to come. The First Lady and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Tom’s wife Kathy and two children, Emilie and Thomas, Jr.”
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (R) wrote,”It is with great sadness that I heard today of the tragic passing of Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich. Tom had a long and unblemished record as a great public servant. As the state’s auditor for the past four years he has served Missouri taxpayers with quiet competence and unswerving dedication. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this extremely difficult time.”
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) tweeted, “I am very sad and hurt so much for Tom Schweich’s Family. Good man. Dedicated public servant. Hug those you love.”
Senator Roy Blunt tweeted, “Tom Schweich was very smart, very capable, outstanding at his job, and a good friend.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kathy, their children, and the rest of Tom’s friends and family as they deal with this tragic loss.”
Attorney General Chris Koster (D) said in a statement, “Tom Schweich was a lifelong public servant for our state and country. I am deeply saddened by his sudden loss, and extend my heartfelt sympathy to his family. I ask all Missourians to keep his family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander said, “Tom Schweich was a devoted public servant that I feel fortunate to have gotten to know as a friend and colleague over the past few years. Whether he was serving as our State Auditor, the U.S. Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan, or working at the State Department, Tom always fought tirelessly for the people he was serving. Anyone who had a conversation with Tom knew how dedicated he was to his service. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Kathy and his children Emilie and Thomas, Jr.”
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel wrote, “”It is with a heavy heart that I send my thoughts and prayers to the Schweich family during this difficult time. Tom served his state and country admirably, and fought strongly for his values. With his passing, Missouri has lost a devoted public servant. He will be missed.”
State Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple said, “The death of Auditor Tom Schweich is devastating news for his family and all Missourians,” said Roy Temple, Chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schweich family during this tragic time.”
Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock said he is in, “utter shock,” at the news of Schweich’s passing. “Tom will be remembered as a tenacious, energetic, effective elected official who worked tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of this state and this nation. I ask all Missourians to join me in praying for Tom’s family,” wrote Hancock.