With voter turnout expected to be around 13 percent, or possibly less, the candidates for state treasurer are making their final push to get a few more people to polls this weekend.
Republican John Schroder and Democrat Derrick Edwards are competing for the post, after advancing through October’s primary.
Schroder, a businessman and former state representative from Covington, is running as a fiscal conservative. Saying he thinks state finances are the “biggest problem” Louisiana is facing, he's pushing to curb state spending. “I will have the guts to say, ‘No.’ No to bigger government, no to wasteful spending, and no to raising your taxes,” he said in one campaign advertisement.
However, New Orleans attorney, Edwards, accused Schroder of misleading the public. He notes the treasurer does not have a vote on the budget – the legislature does. “Basically, he’s been deceiving the people of this great state or he just doesn’t have a clue what the state treasurer does,” he said.
The treasurer’s office is tasked with managing state money, bonds, and investments.
Edwards says he is the more qualified candidate, citing his degree in accounting. He says he wants to improve the state’s bond rating. “Our bond rating has gone to an AA-. We need to get it back up to an AA,” he said.
Schroder, meanwhile, says he would like to follow the example of former state treasurer, John Kennedy, who turned the office into a watchdog post during his tenure. “You obviously have the podium to discuss a lot of issues and bring a lot of issues to the forefront,” Schroder said.
On the topic of investing taxpayer dollars, both offered few specifics on how they would make those decisions.
“Got a pretty large staff that I would rely on if elected,” Schroder said.
“We have to make sure that he taxpayers’ money is invested properly, so we get the most on our return,” Edwards said.
The two candidates do agree in one area: they want to improve transparency, making it easier for the public to access information about how state dollars are spent.
Election day is Saturday, November 18. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Watch 9News on Saturday night at 10 p.m. for complete coverage as the results are tallied.
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