These elected officials are at the center of debates over ESG investing
MIDDLETON, Wis. , Nov. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Voters decided offices up and down the ballot Tuesday night, including elections that will determine control of 68 of the nation’s 105 state financial officers (SFOs).
While returns are incomplete as of this writing, for the 50 directly-elected SFOs, here’s what we know so far for the races that have been called:
Republicans won four offices that Democrats held, defeating two incumbents in the process.
- Six directly elected positions remain uncalled—Democrats currently control five and Republicans control one.
The remaining 18 SFOs decided last night are appointed. Here’s what we know so far:
- Democrats gained full appointment authority over two offices: Massachusetts, where a Republican appointee’s term is expiring, and Minnesota, where the current appointee’s affiliation is unclear.
- Four are appointed positions, where gubernatorial and/or state legislative control remains undetermined.
Heading into the election, Republicans controlled 56 offices, Democrats controlled 42, and officeholders with unclear affiliations held the remaining seven.
Post-election, Republicans will control at least 55 offices and Democrats will hold at least 35. At least five will be bipartisan appointments or appointed by a nonpartisan entity or multi-member board. Ten offices are uncalled.
- Iowa Treasurer: Roby Smith (R) defeated incumbent Michael Fitzgerald (D), who had held the office since 1983.
- Kansas Treasurer: Steven Johnson (R) defeated incumbent Lynn Rogers (D), who first assumed office in 2021.
- Massachusetts Comptroller: Democrats gained control of the governorship and with it sole appointment authority over this office. Outgoing Gov. Charlie Baker (R) appointed incumbent Bill McNamara in 2020. McNamara’s term expires in 2023, and incoming Gov. Maura Healey (D) will name the next comptroller.
- Minnesota Commissioner of Management and Budget: Democrats maintained the governorship and gained control of the state Senate, giving the party full appointment authority over this office. Gov. Tim Walz (D) appointed incumbent Jim Schowalter in 2020, with confirmation from the then-Republican-held Senate, making Schowalter’s affiliation unclear according to our methodology. Schowalter is an at-will appointee, so Walz may retain Schowalter or appoint a replacement subject to confirmation from the now-Democratic Senate.
- Missouri Auditor: Scott Fitzpatrick (R) defeated Alan Green (D), switching control of the office back to Republicans for the first time since 2015. Incumbent Nicole Galloway (D) did not seek re-election.
- Wisconsin Treasurer: John Leiber (R) defeated Aaron Richardson (D), switching control of the office back to Republicans for the first time since 2018. Incumbent Sarah Godlewski (D) did not seek re-election.
SFO titles vary from state to state. They may be referred to as treasurers, controllers, auditors, or comptrollers. Collectively, they are responsible for billions of dollars in state government funds—from collecting taxes and paying bills, to auditing public accounts and making investment decisions for state pension funds. Background on these roles can be found here.
State financial officers are at the center of a growing national debate over the use of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) guidelines to manage state investments. Ballotpedia collected statements from 32 SFO candidates related to the candidates’ views on ESG. Those statements can be found here.
Ballotpedia’s election teams are publishing their reporting and analysis of state financial officer elections—and all of the nation’s election night results—on Ballotpedia.org, in Ballotpedia’s flagship newsletter, “The Daily Brew,” and at our Election Analysis Hub.
Ballotpedia’s data, tools, and infographics are always available to use and publish, with attribution.
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