The Buzz

State Sen. Eric Schmitt off and running for Missouri treasurer

Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt has picked a different statewide office to seek in 2016.

The Glendale Republican was one of a trio of Republicans — along with House Speaker Tim Jones and state Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia — looking at attorney general. Schaefer already has launched his campaign.

But Schmitt on Wednesday said he would run for state treasurer and becomes the first candidate from either party to announce for the office.

Incumbent treasurer Clint Zweifel, a Democrat, is term limited and cannot seek another four years.

“I’m running for treasurer because this is the office where I believe I can make the biggest difference on behalf of Missouri taxpayers by continuing to work on the job-creating policies I’ve fought for in the state Senate,” Schmitt said in a statement.

Schmitt was the author of a major tax cut that the Legislature passed this year over Gov. Jay Nixon's veto.

“I want this campaign to be a conversation with voters about how the treasurer’s office can better serve them,” Schmitt said. “The treasurer’s office needs to take a more proactive role in protecting taxpayers.

“Whether it’s ensuring greater fiscal responsibility, providing greater analysis on the impact of proposed legislative polices, safeguarding the state’s AAA bond rating or ensuring the programs operated by the office are more efficient and transparent, these are all areas I intend to focus my efforts as treasurer.”