Without a challenge from a major-party candidate, Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich’s re-election campaign looks like part victory lap and part warmup run for governor.
In the Nov. 4 election, he faces Libertarian Sean O’Toole and Constitution Party candidate Rodney Farthing.
This year marks the first time in more than a century that Democrats did not field a candidate for statewide office in Missouri.
That “reflects the fact that I have tried to be an auditor for all Missourians — tough and aggressive but bipartisan,” Schweich told The Associated Press this year. “It also reflects that I’m a good fundraiser.”
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According to Missouri Ethics Commission records, by September his campaign had raised more than $1.6 million for the election and still had slightly more than $1 million on hand.
The lack of a Democratic opponent could mean he’d have much of that money, perhaps even more, available for a bid to be elected governor in 2016.
Yet Schweich has been coy about whether he’ll run for governor.
Democratic state Rep. Jay Swearingen of Kansas City had announced last year that he would challenge Schweich in the auditor’s race. But Swearingen changed his mind in mid-January, about a month before the official candidate filing period opened.
If Schweich is re-elected, it would give him a second four-year term as the state’s auditor. He beat incumbent Democratic Auditor Susan Montee in 2010 to win his first elected office.
Before public office, he worked in the U.S. State Department as an international law enforcement official and coordinated anti-drug and justice reform efforts in Afghanistan.
Schweich also served as chief of staff to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and as chief of staff to John Danforth when the former U.S. senator from Missouri was appointed in 1999 to head a federal investigation into the Branch Davidian siege at Waco, Texas.
O’Toole, the Libertarian, is a Kansas City software developer and former commodities trader. According to his website, he’s also the treasurer of the Missouri Libertarian Party and of the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association.
Farthing, the Constitution Party candidate, ran for Missouri treasurer in 2008 and drew less than 3 percent of the vote. According to his website, he’s the development director for ARM Prison Outreach ministry.
Address: St. Louis
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Yale University; law degree, Harvard Law School
Previous public service: Missouri state auditor; chief of staff for investigation into siege of Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas; chief of staff to U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations; U.S. coordinator for counternarcotics and justice reform in Afghanistan.
Address: Kansas City
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Hamline University
Previous public service: None
Adderss: Salem, Mo.
Education: Bachelor’s degree, St. Louis Christian College
Previous public service: None