Friday, June 12, 2009

Schweich Confirms He's Mulling Auditor Bid

Former U.S. ambassador Tom Schweich confirmed to the KY3 Political Notebook Friday morning that he's considering a campaign for state Auditor in 2010.

Schweich, who announced he would not challenge Congressman Roy Blunt for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate Thursday, said an Auditor bid is something he is seriously considering -- but that no final decision has been made.

"During the course of my evaluation to run for Senate, many people in the private and public sector suggested to me that I consider running for Auditor," Schweich said in an interview. "As a result of that, I'm looking at the possibilities for me in that race."

On Thursday, The Notebook reported that Schweich cut a deal with Blunt allies to win support for the state race in order to avoid a contentious U.S. Senate primary.

"Roy never told me to run for Auditor," Schweich said. "This was a natural process, that involved natural questions a potential candidate would ask. People are going to call it a deal, they can call it whatever they want to call it. Really it was a shift away from the Senate idea to another possibility," Schweich added.

Schweich did not say whether he would run for Auditor if he knew he would have a Republican primary opponent. He said that question was something he hadn't even fully considered yet.

When asked how Schweich expected to maintain his credibility after launching such tough criticism against Blunt just a few weeks before endorsing him, the St. Louis law professor said he always did what he said he was going to do.

"I traveled around the state, I talked to a lot of people and everybody said that this would be a divisive primary. After meeting with Roy, I'm satisfied that he'll be able to address the concerns I had. But the main thing is, I wanted to give him a clear path," Schweich said.

Thursday evening, Sen. Jack Danforth, who was Schweich's top backer for Senate, also threw his support behind Blunt at a glitzy "who's who" GOP fundraiser in St. Louis.

As a former diplomat and negotiator, Schweich is completely aware that some of his statements will likely be used against himself and Blunt going forward, but noted that he always called the Ozarks Congressman "patriotic and a fine man."

"I've been in politics about six weeks, but I have no doubt that they will use this against him and I don't doubt they'll use it against me, but they fail to recognize the process I said I'd go through," Schweich said.

On the Auditor race, Schweich said he wants to decide pretty quickly. A formal decision is expected in the coming weeks.

No other Republican has officially announced a candidacy. Democratic Auditor Susan Montee has said she'll pursue a second term.

1 comment:

David said...

Schweich threw himself into Missouri politics by announcing he was an outsider.
Well, he’s no Brock Olivo, but his voting record seems to back him up.

Schweich, a Republican from Clayton, didn’t vote the last time a Missouri auditor (Democrat Susan Montee) was elected, in 2006. That was the same election that pitted Claire McCaskill against Jim Talent in the race for U.S. Senate.