Schweich says preparing to announce state auditor bid soon
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 25, 2009 - Visiting Washington University law professor Thomas Schweich says he has "taken a lot of the preliminary steps'' to run for Missouri state auditor in 2010, after dropping his earlier consideration of a bid for the U.S. Senate.
"I'm taking the necessary steps to run a credible campaign for auditor, including putting together a first-rate campaign organization,'' said Schweich, a Clayton High School graduate with a lengthy resume in the administration of a fellow Republican, former President George W. Bush.
Schweich has yet to set up a campaign committee, but emphasized that he has yet to spend any money. However, he said he's preparing to line up a strong staff.
Schweich also plans to attend a meeting this weekend of state Republican leaders in Jefferson City. Among other things, he's expected to emphasize his qualifications. Schweich, 48, said he'd "conducted investigations and audits for 20 years. I have a lot of experience in this area."
If he follows through, Schweich would be the second Republican to announce a bid for the post now held by a Democrat, state Auditor Susan Montee, who is running for re-election. State Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood and chairman of the House Budget Committee, declared his candidacy earlier this month.
Icet also is slated to attend this weekend's GOP meeting in the state capital.
A couple months ago, Schweich had been receiving encouragement from several prominent St. Louis area Republicans -- notably retired Sen. John C. Danforth, R-Mo. -- to make a run for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated after 2010 by incumbent Republican Christopher "Kit" Bond.
But a few weeks ago, Schweich backed out, with he and Danforth endorsing the only remaining Republican to announce for the post, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Strafford.
With a laugh, Schweich dismissed reports by a Democratic-leaning blog site that he'd recently declared his candidacy while talking to a potential Web designer while in a Wash U locker room. That conversation went viral when the designer posted a "tweet'' on his Twitter site.
Actually, said Schweich, it was a casual exchange while "I was combing my hair after working out." Nothing official.