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Cass County auditor: Wescoat hopes to replace his old boss; Smith says he’s a pro

Ryan Wescoat
Ryan Wescoat Courtesy photo

Republican auditor candidate Ryan Wescoat is looking forward to coming back to work at the Cass County courthouse.

Should Wescoat prevail Nov. 4 against Democrat Bill Smith, he will be running an office he has some familiarity with.

Wescoat once worked as current Auditor Ron Johnson’s chief deputy but was let go in 2011 after clashing with his boss.

Wescoat, a member of the Raymore City Council, ran against Johnson in the August primary and won.

“I believe I’ve been able to make a positive impact on our city,” Wescoat said. “... What spurred my interest in going to the county is that I know that I can take my same beliefs with what I’ve done in Raymore and hopefully have a greater impact countywide.”

Smith, who acknowledged he’s running a small campaign, said he wants to give voters the opportunity to choose someone untainted by Cass County politics.

“I’m a blank slate with a professional background,” Smith said. “I felt like that I’m qualified to do the job.”

A lifelong accountant, Smith said he has the expertise to maintain the necessary checks and balances of county government.

Smith said several of the companies he’s worked for were in a mess before he arrived, and he was able to turn them around.

“I don’t mind digging into the numbers and finding solutions,” he said.

Smith also believes he can bring integrity to the job, improve reporting practices and establish better working relationships with other officeholders.

“I believe that, with good management and cooperation, Cass County can be a thriving, financially sound community,” Smith said. “If I am elected, I will do my best to ensure that the Cass County auditor’s office will work diligently toward that goal.”

Wescoat says he, too, would work well with the county commission and bring reforms to the office.

While working under Johnson, Wescoat said he saw things that didn’t promote government transparency.

“I want to evaluate all the forms the county currently uses,” he said. “Some of the forms are very vague, especially regarding travel. I want to create a new policy and procedure for how forms are used.”

He also wants to play a role in attracting economic development.

“I want to see if we can’t actually create an atmosphere in our county that businesses want to come in,” Wescoat said. “The more businesses that we have, the more revenue that we can bring in without having to tax our citizens.”

REPUBLICANRyan Wescoat

Age: 41

Address: 809 Furlong Drive, Raymore

Occupation: Adjunct instructor for Ottawa University and Grantham University

Education: MBA and bachelor’s in business management, University of Phoenix; graduate certificate in grantsmanship, University of Missouri

Previous public service: Raymore-Peculiar Board of Education; Raymore City Council; Raymore License Tax Review Committee chairman

Website: Facebook: Ryan Wescoat for Cass County Auditor

DEMOCRATBill Smith

Age: 72

Address: 806 Wildwood, Pleasant Hill

Occupation: Retired accountant

Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, Rockhurst University

Previous public service: None

Website: None

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