Yesterday I hosted debate among the candidates for state Auditor. Long-time Republican incumbent Bob Peterson is retiring, and in November voters will pick a replacement.
Josh Gallion is the Republican candidate. Roland Riemers is the Libertarian candidate. Democrats didn’t nominate a candidate for this race.
You can listen to the full discussion below, which ended up getting a bit more heated than I expected with Riemers in particular going after Gallion’s qualifications for the job. Gallion, who currently works for the Public Service Commission, pointed to his extensive education and experience in accounting and business management. Riemers pointed out that he served in the military longer than Gallion and also has a lot of private sector experience.
But where the candidates disagreed most sharply was over the size of the office.
“I’ve pledged to reduce the auditor’s budget by 5 percent,” Riemers said.
“I would look at shrinking it whatever he takes,” Riemers added, though he said he wouldn’t necessarily reduce the number of staff in the office.
But Gallion argued that the budget for the Auditor’s Office is mostly salary. “The only way to do that,” he said of Riemer’s proposal to reduce the budget, “is to terminate employees.”
Gallion said he’d actually like to go the other way and increase the Auditor’s budget including adding at least two more auditors focusing on performance evaluations. “I see this office as an investment,” he said adding the office can promote “limited, effective, and responsive” government.
Riemers said he’s also like the auditor’s office to make information more publicly available instead of “creating a report and sticking it in a file.” Gallion noted that all audit reports are posted on the Auditor’s Office website for download.
Here’s the full audio: