The Republican nominee for state auditor has a criminal past. He does not have the support of the state Republican party. And he's up against incumbent Claire McCaskill for the job. But Al Hanson says he thinks he's going to win for state auditor. I'm Elizabeth Gill with the story in Jefferson City.
Hanson says his past as a businessman gives him the experience Missouri's state auditor needs:
Hanson has tried his hand at politics before. This is his 9th run for elected office, but only his second time as a Republican. Hanson says his decision to run as a Republican in this election is in part because his 4 daughters are Republicans. Hanson ran for state auditor in 1986 in Minnesota, and has run for state representative and county commissioner in Missouri.
Hanson's background extends beyond politics. In 1977, Hanson spent 9 months in a Minnesota State Prison for business fraud. After his release from prison, Hanson started a Lutheran Prison Ministry. He moved to Missouri 12 years ago and says these days he spends about half of his time with the Ministry and the rest on a financial consulting business and a commercial tire business.
Hanson says the state auditor should be part watchdog and part economist. He says he thinks his financial background makes him better suited for the job than McCaskill. He is critical of McCaskill's career as a lawyer. Hanson says he believes the state auditor needs to understand how Wall Street works to understand how the economy affects the state:
Given his criminal past, Hanson is running without the support of the Republican party. Hanson says his independence from any political party frees him to audit without political consequence. Hanson says he doesn't believe the current auditor's office has that freedom given speculation McCaskill has her eye on Governor's race. If elected, Hanson says he would consider auditing the Department of Corrections, the Department of Family Services, and the Department of Mental Health.
From the State Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Gill