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Icet to formally kick off state auditor bid here on Thursday

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 27, 2009 - State Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood and one of two announced Republicans for state auditor next year, will formally launch his campaign Thursday with a 5:30 p.m. rally at the Genesis Banquet Center in south St. Louis County.

Icet, who is chairman of the House Budget Committee, made his political intentions clear on June 15. His surprise announcement outmaneuvered Washington University law professor Thomas Schweich, a former member of the Bush administration and a favorite of some well-known moderate Republicans, including former state Sen. John C. Danforth, R-Mo., who squired Schweich around the state in mid-May.

Since then, Schweich has held his formal kickoff, and Icet has released a list of several dozen allied GOP legislators.

Icet is aligned with the party's social conservatives, setting the stage for yet another ideological battle within the Missouri GOP.

The victor in the August 2010 primary will compete against the Democratic incumbent, state Auditor Susan Montee.

However, Icet generally has been emphasizing his fiscal credentials, and did so in his rally announcement.

“Over the past four years as House Budget Chair I’ve worked to bring prudent fiscal management to the state’s budget,” he said in a statement. “As Missouri’s next state auditor, I will use that experience to continue protecting taxpayers by fighting for accountability and transparency in state spending.”

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.