JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Paul Curtman announced late Tuesday morning that he would be running for state auditor. Curtman will be vying for the Republican nomination against David Wasinger, a notable St. Louis accountant and lawyer.
“Our state auditor should be an independent-minded leader who is dedicated to accountability,” Curtman said. “I have a proven conservative record of fighting against higher taxes, wasteful spending, and the expansion of government.”
Curtman, a former Marine Sergeant, was elected to the house in 2011 and immediately began serving on the House Committee on Economic Development, Downsizing State Government, and Ways and Means – of which he is currently the chair. During his campaigns for the House in District 109, he was elected with a significant margin of victory with as little as 58 percent in 2012 and as much as 81 percent in 2016. Though he is not a certified public accountant, he believes that will not be a problem.
“It’s not a problem at all. This office is an office where you need leadership more than anything else,” he said. “It takes more than being a wizard on Microsoft Excel or knowing how to use spreadsheets. We need somebody who can actually reach out to lead and actually apply solutions and work with the lawmakers on this.”
Nicole Galloway, the office’s current occupant, is also a certified public accountant, but is the only Democrat left in the executive branch. Though she claims the office is non-partisan, Curtman alleged that he previously attempted to work directly with Galloway, but had not been able to.
“I’m running because I believe I can do the job better because I believe what we need is leadership. There have been times where I reached out to the office and have not had an opportunity to interface directly with our Auditor,” he said. “It is very important that we have an auditor who is capable, able, and willing to actually have these conversations with the legislators, who can actually get this type of work done.”
He continues, saying that he had a great relationship with the previous auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican, and have been able to solve potential problems because of their relationship.
“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, he said. “I had a good relationship with [Schweich.] We have discussed legislation that should be introduced in order to solve problems that he was able to discover in the audits. There hasn’t been that relationship with the current auditor.”
Curtman, who previously explored the possibility of a U.S. Senate race, ruled out any plans for elected positions after the auditor.
“I have no future plans beyond state auditor,” he said. “I want to be the state auditor for the people of our state. Our budget has grown exponentially since the year 2000 – so now more than ever, we need more leadership in that office.”
Michael Layer is a reporter for the Missouri Times and the Missouri Times Magazine. He joined the Missouri Times in August 2017 after graduating from Goucher College the previous May. To contact Michael, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @_MichaelLayer