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Understanding the race for Missouri Auditor

The incumbent, Democrat Nicole Galloway, faces Republican challenger Saundra McDowell.
Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, CPA, left, and Saundra McDowell, a candidate for Missouri State Auditor in 2018.

Missouri voters will choose who will head the statewide watchdog office for taxpayer dollars.

The incumbent, Democrat Nicole Galloway, faces Republican challenger Saundra McDowell.

Galloway, a certified public accountant and previously Boone County treasurer, was appointed to the office in 2015 by former Gov. Jay Nixon, another Democrat, after Republican Auditor Tom Schweich died from suicide.

McDowell is an Air Force veteran, an attorney and was previously a securities enforcement official in Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft's office and an assistant attorney general.

Galloway has criticized McDowell for her failed Springfield law practice and her other personal financial problems.

Legal documents show that when McDowell and her husband didn't pay their bills, their landlord took them to court and won a judgment for more than $30,000 in late rent and fees, along with an order to garnish the McDowells' wages.

McDowell's Missouri residency has been an issue in the campaign, as well. The Missouri Constitution requires a state auditor to meet the same eligibility criteria as a governor — which includes residing in Missouri for 10 years prior to election day.

McDowell is an Oklahoma native who moved to Missouri in 2010. However, she has said she established her "intent" to make Missouri her permanent home prior to Nov. 6, 2008.

At a September campaign forum, McDowell accused Galloway of violating the Sunshine Law over deleted text messages. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, oversaw an investigation that found no evidence of wrongdoing.