The first woman to serve as state auditor faces a well-funded challenger who’s been involved in some high-profile criminal investigations.
Republican Mary Mosiman appointed state auditor in 2013. She won her first full term in office in 2014 and is seeking reeletion this November. Mosiman has emphasized her credentials as a certified public accountant.
“Since 1979 when Dick Johnson took over as state auditor, we have had a state auditor who is a CPA for almost 40 consecutive years,” Mosiman said during a speech on The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.
Democrat Rob Sand is a lawyer who worked in the attorney general’s office for a decade and led the prosecution of Eddie Tipton, the man who rigged lottery drawings. Sand also worked on cases in the state film tax credit scandal. Sand has said he’d bring a law enforcement perspective to the auditor’s office investigations of misspent tax dollars.
“I don’t think lawyers are better than CPAs and accountants,” Sand said at the State Fair. “I think that lawyers and CPAs are better than either one of them on their own.”
The two have been quarreling about whether the state auditor’s office would be able to conduct routine annual “financial statement” audits for cities, counties and school districts if the auditor is not a CPA. The two offered their polar opposite interpretations of state law on this subject during an appearance on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press program.
The head of the state agency that issued an auditing license to the state auditor’s office has not confirmed when the license was issued and has declined to weigh in on the controversy. The state constitution says a state auditor shall be elected by qualified voters every four years and “shall perform such duties as may be provided by law.”
The Libertarian Party’s 2018 nominee for state auditor is Fred Perryman, a sales manager from Cedar Falls.