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Galloway pulls out victory over McDowell in State Auditor race

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri State Auditor’s Office will remain the sole statewide elected office held by a Democrat and by a woman.

On Tuesday, Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway staved off Republican challenger Saundra McDowell by a 6-point margin, retaining the place she was appointed to in 2015.

In a field of first-time candidates, Galloway came out with 50 percent of the vote (1,197,020 votes), McDowell claimed 44 percent of the vote (1,060,066), Constitution candidate Jacob Luetkemeyer took home 2 percent, while Libertarian Sean O’Toole gained 2 percent of the vote and Green Party candidate Don Fitz gained .7 percent of the vote.

“Thank you to my family, friends and supporters. It was a long, tough campaign. I’m excited to get back to work as your independent watchdog in Jefferson City,” Galloway posted to Twitter.

Galloway, the only certified CPA in the race, was appointed as state auditor in 2015 following the death of Tom Schweich. Sworn into office at 32-years-old, she became the youngest statewide official in Missouri.

Prior to her tenure as auditor, Galloway served as Boone County treasurer since 2011 when she was appointed to fill a vacant post — she won re-election in 2012.

McDowell, who emerged from a four-way primary as the GOP’s nominee, was Galloway’s main challenger. Though the Republican candidate was unable to match the fundraising totals of her opponent.

An Air Force veteran and lawyer who worked for the state, McDowell faced scrutiny for her personal finances and residency issues.