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State Treasurer candidates approach Election Day

CHARLESTON — Democratic incumbent John Perdue is running for re-election against Republican Riley Moore.

The state treasurer is responsible for the management of more than $16 billion annually.

Perdue is the 24th state treasurer and has been in office for six terms.

Moore, the grandson of the late former Gov. Arch Moore Jr. and the majority leader in the House of Delegates, is increasingly optimistic as election day approaches.

“It has been interesting as I have travelled the state everywhere I have gone, I talk about this jumpstart plan I have and people are extraordinarily receptive and I think it would be great for West Virginians,” Moore said.

Moore’s emphasis on modernization includes what he calls a jumpstart plan, which is a savings plan similar to the Smart529 plan but for trade and vocational school and tools for employment.

“This will spur entrerpeneurship and support organized laborers,” Moore said. “Currently 25 percent of West Virginians have a college degree so what are we doing for the other 75 percent?”

Moore’s platform also includes greater transparency for how contracts will be awarded through the office of the treasurer, greater transparency for citizens in seeing how their tax dollars are being spent, a thorough audit of the office to cut unnecessary expenditures and the reduction of unclaimed property in possession of the state and its return to citizens.

Moore also stresses an important difference between him and incumbent Perdue lies in their political differences and the importance of this knowledge to voters.

“I get asked everywhere if I support President Trump and the answer is yes,” Moore said. “A pretty good litmus test for how we see the state and apply policies in the state for the future of our children and our children’s children lies within this fact.”

Moore was a delegate to the Republican National Convention for President Trump in 2016.

Moore is additionally supportive of the concept of imposing term limits in other executive offices at the capitol. Only the governor is limited to consecutive terms.

“Term limits keep us more accountable to the people and I think they prevent us from consolidating power to the executive offices like we have,” Moore said.

Perdue holds the record for the longest serving state treasurer in West Virginia, according to the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office.

“I really love my job and I know what I am doing,” Perdue said. “We have modernized this office and put transparency in it and put technology in here to give easier access to the public.”

Perdue cites as successes in his 24-year career as treasurer: the establishment of the SMART529 college savings program, managing the West Virginia Retirement Plus (457) savings program, creating the WVABLE savings plan for residents with disabilities and returning $230 million in unclaimed property to homes, businesses and churches across the state.

Perdue also emphasized the importance of financial education in schools.

“We have developed budgeting education for students across the state and this has been a great hands-on approach,” Perdue said. “We are excited about the future and excited about the newly established broadband and how it can open opportunity further.”

In terms of transparency, Perdue believes that his efforts to move the Office of the Treasurer forward since he was elected has allowed for greater knowledge and security for constituents.

“I modernized this office and brought us into the 21st century,” Perdue said. “You can go onto the state site and see how your taxpayer dollars are being handled…that’s what we wanted to bring to the forefront of this office is checks and balances.”

Perdue says his first priority is working for the people.

“People know I am a Democrat, but people also know I am a public servant,” Perdue said. “People know I walk across party lines. It isn’t about your party, it is about doing the job and taking care of the money of the state.”

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