A veteran Missouri lawmaker who considered a 2018 U.S. Senate bid announced Tuesday in Jefferson City that he’ll run for State Auditor instead.

State Rep. Paul Curtman speaks on the Missouri House floor in April 2017 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

State Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Union, formed an exploratory committee for the Senate, but says he has “a lot more support” to run for Auditor.

Curtman says Missouri needs an auditor who has a good working relationship with lawmakers.

“Need somebody who can actually reach out and actually lead to actually apply solutions and work with the lawmakers on this,” Curtman says. “So this is an office where we actually have to have executive-type leadership so we can actually get out ahead of the problems that were discovered in the audits.”

Curtman, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, tells reporters that previous State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) met with lawmakers.

“We’ve discussed (with Schweich) legislation that should be introduced in order to solve problems that he was able to discover in the audits, and there hasn’t been that relationship with the current auditor that we have right now,” says Curtman.

If Curtman wins the August 2018 GOP primary, he would face incumbent Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) next November.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber, who served in the House with Curtman for six years, has issued a statement on Curtman’s announcement.

“No matter who the GOP eventually nominates, the fact remains that State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s independence and dedication to looking out for Missouri’s taxpayers is unmatched in Republican-controlled Jefferson City,” Webber says in the statement.

Galloway’s website says her office has completed 120 audits in 2017, and that another 27 audits are in progress.

Galloway is a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner. Then-Governor Jay Nixon (D) appointed her as Auditor in April 2015, after Schweich’s death.

Curtman was joined at Tuesday’s Jefferson City announcement by supporters, including State Reps. Tim Remole, R-Excello, and Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit.

Fitzwater describes the Union Republican as “a conservative stalwart.”

“He (Curtman) is what he says he is,” Fitzwater says. “He’s a guy with incredible integrity. He’s been in the military. He’s served our country.”

Curtman served from 1999 to 2003 on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Sergeant.

Curtman is in his fourth and final House term. He was first elected in 2010.

 

Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth covered State Rep. Paul Curtman’s campaign announcement on October 24, 2017 in Jefferson City. Click here to listen to the entire five-minute announcement and press briefing: