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Scott Fitzpatrick on track to beat David Gregory in Missouri GOP listener contest | Policy

JEFFERSON CITY — State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick on Tuesday held a decisive lead in the Republican nomination in the race to succeed Democrat Nicole Galloway as Missouri Auditor.

Unofficial returns show Fitzpatrick, 34, hovering at about 63% of the vote with a third of the precincts counted in his candidacy against Rep. David Gregory, a Republican from Sunset Hills.

“Obviously things are looking good right now, but there are still a lot of votes to be counted,” said Fitzpatrick, who was watching the Kansas City election results.

If the trend continues, he will face former Democratic State Rep. Alan Green of Florissant and Libertarian John A. Hartwig Jr. of St. Charles in November’s general election. Neither had opponents on Tuesday.

Although the auditor position is seen as a potential stepping stone to higher office, the race has been overshadowed throughout the election cycle by the high-stakes competition to replace retired U.S. Senator Roy Blunt.

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Galloway has been in office since 2015 but opted out of seeking a second full term after losing a gubernatorial bid in 2018.

The Office of the Auditor conducts formal audits of financial irregularities by state agencies, boards, commissions, statewide elected officials, the legislature and local government, and taxing entities.

Fitzpatrick, 34, of Cassville, was named Treasurer in 2018 and won a full four-year term in 2020. He is a former House member and served as the senior budget writer for the Lower House of Assembly legislative during his tenure there.

As a high school student, Fitzpatrick founded a company in Shell Knob in southwest Missouri that builds and repairs marinas and docks.

During the campaign trail, Fitzpatrick said one of his top priorities would be to step up oversight of how federal pandemic relief money has been spent. It also plans to increase scrutiny of school district finances and programs.

Gregory, 37, from southern St. Louis County, is a lawyer who won the House election in 2016.

He represents a swath of southern county communities, including parts of Valley Park, Mehlville and Fenton. He was chair of the Select Committee on Government Accountability and a member of the House Budget Committee.

Gregory said he had hoped to win the race to investigate school curriculum issues such as critical race theory, as well as illegal immigration.