This article was republished with permission from the Columbia Missourian.
Democratic incumbent State Auditor Nicole Galloway won a full four-year term as the state’s financial watchdog in Tuesday’s election, defeating four other candidates including Republican Saundra McDowell.
With over 99 percent of precincts reporting, Galloway, of Columbia, was winning the race with a statewide total of 1,175,565 votes, or 50.5 percent to McDowell’s 1,036,198 votes, or 44.5 percent.
Libertarian Sean O’Toole of Kansas City garnered 2.2 percent of the vote; Green Party candidate Don Fitz of St. Louis received less than 1 percent; and Constitution Party candidate Jacob Luetkemeyer of California, Missouri, got about 2 percent.
It was Galloway’s first election for state auditor. Then-Gov. Jay Nixon appointed her to the state auditor position after the death of Tom Schweich in 2015. Nixon had previously appointed her Boone County treasurer to replace Kay Murray when she retired. Galloway held that job for four years.
Galloway waited in the ballroom of the Tiger Hotel to watch returns with supporters while fellow Democrats partied in The Vault downstairs.
When it was clear Galloway would win, the room full of people applauded her and chanted “Galloway! Galloway! Galloway!”
“Missourians have spoken tonight. They want an independent watchdog in Jefferson City to hold the powerful accountable,” Galloway said.
“I want to thank my family, my husband John and of course, our three little boys, William, Ben and Joseph who are all sleeping because they have school tomorrow and they’re going,” Galloway said.
Galloway focused her campaign on taking a stand against dark money in Missouri and advocating for government transparency. She said that, as state auditor, she has done just that so far.
Galloway is also a certified public accountant and fraud examiner.
McDowell did not respond to several requests for comment.
Supervising editors are Scott Swafford and Tynan Stewart.