For Republican Randy Gilbert, the second time’s a charm. After losing the Republican endorsement for the state auditor’s race in 2010, Gilbert earned overwhelming backing from activists on Friday to take on incumbent DFLer Rebecca Otto this fall.
Gilbert, an auditor in his day job at Assurance Consulting in Minneapolis and former Long Lake mayor, ran unopposed for endorsement at the state GOP’s convention in Rochester. The state’s auditor is charged with reviewing the $20 billion spent annually by local governments.
“The state auditor is to defend the taxpayer at all costs at all times, especially when it requires him or her to stand up to their party,” Gilbert told the crowd. “That’s not what we have in Minnesota. Rebecca Otto has accepted thousands of dollars from unions who represent employees of the very people she is supposed to audit.”
Gilbert also criticized Otto’s vote on the Minnesota Executive Council against issuing mining leases, calling it a vote against jobs on the Iron Range.
Gilbert lost out on the endorsement in 2010 to Pat Anderson, who was state auditor from 2002 to 2006. Otto beat Anderson, and won re-election in 2010 by 1 percentage point. While the margin was narrow, she prevailed despite a banner GOP year that saw Republicans take control of the state House and Senate.
The state auditor’s office has switched back and forth between Republicans and Democrats.
“With 25 years of business and accounting experience,” Gilbert said, “I believe I have the experience and knowledge to speak truth to power on behalf of all Minnesotans.”