3 chal­lenge in­cum­bent in au­di­tor gen­eral’s race

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES - By Me­gan Trim­ble

HARRISBURG >> Three can­di­dates are vy­ing to un­seat Penn­syl­va­nia’s Demo­cratic au­di­tor gen­eral, Eu­gene DePasquale, in the Nov. 8 elec­tion.

The au­di­tor gen­eral is the com­mon­wealth’s top fis­cal watch­dog, and is lim­ited to two, four-year terms.

A look at the of­fice and the can­di­dates:

The job

The au­di­tor gen­eral over­sees an of­fice with more than 400 em­ploy­ees and a bud­get of over $50 mil­lion.

The depart­ment is tasked with au­dit­ing state spend­ing and re­view­ing best prac­tices for state agen­cies and em­ploy­ees.

Re­cent au­dits have in­cluded re­views of higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions. In Au­gust, DePasquale an­nounced his of­fice would au­dit Penn State Univer­sity’s per­for­mance across its 24 cam­puses.

The po­si­tion has been used as a po­lit­i­cal spring­board. The last three elected au­di­tors gen­eral — Jack Wag­ner, Bob Casey Jr. and Bar­bara Hafer — each later ran for a higher of­fice.

The au­di­tor gen­eral’s an­nual salary is $157,598.

The can­di­dates

Demo­crat Eu­gene DePasquale, 45, is the in­cum­bent. He pre­vi­ously served as a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive for three terms be­fore he was elected to his cur­rent of­fice in 2012. He holds a law de­gree from Wi­dener Univer­sity School of Law.

Repub­li­can John Brown, 55, cur­rently serves as the Northamp­ton County ex­ec­u­tive. He pre­vi­ously served as mayor of Ban­gor after spend­ing most of his ca­reer in the pri­vate sec­tor. His pri­vate sec­tor work in­cluded work­ing with strug­gling com­pa­nies and in busi­ness star­tups. He holds an un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree from the Univer­sity of Notre Dame.

Green Party can­di­date John J. Sweeney, 63, is the Falls Town­ship au­di­tor in Wy­oming County. He has served as the state’s Green Party chair and op­er­ates a wood-fin­ish­ing and paint­ing busi­ness there. Sweeney stud­ied at Tem­ple Univer­sity and the Philadel­phia Col­lege of Art.

Lib­er­tar­ian can­di­date Roy Minet, 75, is a re­tired Lan­caster County busi­ness­man. He pre­vi­ously served on the Penn­syl­va­nia Lib­er­tar­ian party’s board of di­rec­tors. He has worked in en­gi­neer­ing, sales, man­age­ment, owned a beer dis­trib­u­tor­ship and founded a com­puter soft­ware com­pany later sold to 3M Cor­po­ra­tion. Minet holds a master’s de­gree in busi­ness from North­west­ern Univer­sity.

Can­di­date plat­forms

DePasquale: He said he plans to build upon his first term to find ad­di­tional sav­ings, im­prove state in­fra­struc­ture and cre­ate jobs. He is pledg­ing to per­form a fol­low-up au­dit of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion. In his first term, some of the au­dits per­formed by his agency looked at school districts, a hot­line that han­dles re­ports of sus­pected child abuse and mu­nic­i­pal pen­sion debt.

Brown: A top pri­or­ity for Brown is high­light­ing in­ef­fi­cien­cies in state pro­grams and agen­cies. He says he would work with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to cre­ate plans to re­solve iden­ti­fied is­sues. He also says he would mon­i­tor the gov­er­nors’ spend­ing plan.

Sweeney: He is pledg­ing to au­dit agen­cies like the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Turn­pike Com­mis­sion, as well as to re­view the Gen­eral Assem­bly’s oper­at­ing bud­get.

Minet: He said he would tar­get gov­ern­ment in­ef­fi­cien­cies, and if elected, would rec­om­mend ways to shrink gov­ern­ment.

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