The election for Missouri state auditor on November 6 is a true litmus test of how much Missouri Republicans, in an era of a chaotic Donald Trump presidency, value party loyalty over the basic competencies of holding a public office with a mandated list of responsibilities that require certain skills and experiences. Incumbent state Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat who was appointed to the position by Gov. Nixon after the tragic suicide of Thomas Schweich, may be the most competent and diligent auditor in the state’s history – and one of the most capable and accountable public officials we have ever observed in any statewide office in Missouri. Moreover, she has been diligent and successful in something that conservative and liberal voters both can agree should be a priority: eliminating government waste, to the tune of some $300 million since she was appointed in 2015.
Galloway has outraised her Republican challenger, Saundra McDowell, by more than $1 million, and it’s not difficult to see why donors would not want to throw good money after bad on a hapless candidate like McDowell. Forget following the money in Missouri’s complex government to root out waste and fraud; McDowell can’t even follow the money from her own back account to her own creditors. She has been sued civilly seven times in the past five years over unpaid bills. One judgment resulted in McDowell being evicted from her home in July 2015, just a few months after Galloway assumed her public duties as state government’s most critical watchdog.
The only voter who would evict a proven battler for the public good like Galloway to replace her with someone who can’t even pay her own bills – lately – is a voter hopelessly lost to party affiliation over reason and evidence. Unfortunately, Missouri is home to many Republican supporters over Trump who have proven themselves capable of making the most irrational, destructive, fact-blind decisions in the voting booth.
St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green, who audits city government, told us Galloway “has proven that she can protect taxpayer dollars from fraud and mismanagement.” St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones – who has been such a good steward of the city’s vast parking revenues that the rest of city government is determined to wrest them from her – told us Galloway “is adamant about following the law and uncovering corruption in throughout our state.” State Senator Jamilah Nasheed said Galloway has “made it her mission to stomp out waste, fraud and abuse in Missouri government” to free up “money that can be reinvested into communities just like ours.”
Galloway remaining state auditor is good for everyone in Missouri who is not a fraud, abuser or wastrel. Republicans stand behind a fraud, abuser and wastrel at the top of their party, so we can only hope that a critical mass of those people will vote in this race mindful of their clear, undeniable self-interest as taxpayers. We certainly will. As for voters who lean Democratic, we can only beg that you make your way down the ballot to get to Galloway and vote for her. We strongly endorse Nicole Galloway for Missouri state auditor.