Republican Daniel Elliott and Democrat Jessica McClellan are running for the open seat of Indiana state treasurer in this year’s election.
Elliott said strengthening cybersecurity in state and local government would be a top priority, if elected. McClellan cited expanding existing programs and “necessary” transparency as key initiatives.
Elliott is a software engineer and has spent years in local government service, including a decade as chairman of the Morgan County Redevelopment Commission.
He said it was the experience that prompted him to run for state treasurer.
“I just saw this need for, hey, we need to develop rural Indiana,” Elliott said. “And I saw the Treasurer’s Office as a tool that has already been used and can be used even more to help expand economic opportunity in rural Indiana.”
McClellan is currently the Monroe County Treasurer. And she said she’s seen firsthand what the state treasurer’s office can do for Hoosiers.
One of the programs he oversees is the CollegeChoice 529 plan. McClellan said she wants to “fill in the gaps” in the savings program.
“I’ve heard families don’t know if it will affect their kids’ chances of getting a scholarship, if they have a lot of savings in this plan,” McClellan said. “So I think the first step is to answer all those questions and see if we can get more buy-in.
Elliott pushed a similar message. He is the first in his family to go to university. And he said it’s the track record that drives him to raise awareness of the program.
“The working class, those who are quite poor — that’s not even something on their radar,” Elliott said. “And I think that’s where we need to improve.”
Elliott said one of his first jobs in the office would be dealing with cybersecurity — a threat, he said, that is too often overlooked.
“They know it’s a need. They know it’s a concern, but they’re not sure how to fix it,” Elliott said. how we can help local governments with cybersecurity.”
McClellan also cited local government support as a major issue. On his agenda is the expansion of TrustINdiana, an investment program that allows local governments to pool their money, to produce better returns.
“I’m thinking of townships and small towns and villages, where every dollar counts,” McClellan said.
READ MORE: Indiana’s CollegeChoice 529 savings program celebrates 25 years since its inception
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The treasurer is not a decision-making role; it’s more administrative. Still, McClellan said she would use the job to be a “cheerleader.”
“Rooting Democrats in the Legislature and helping them with what the State Treasurer’s office can do to achieve their goals — you know, their legislative priorities — everyone has ideas,” McClellan said. “How do we bring these ideas to life? »
Elliott has his own way of looking at his relationship with the legislature.
“I’m going to have to follow their lead on what they’re looking to do,” Elliott said. “My role is to provide them with the data so that when they look at these policies, here’s what you should be looking at. Here’s the actual data.”
Republicans have largely controlled state government for decades. And McClellan said electing a Democrat to the office of state treasurer would bring greater transparency.
“And I think it’s a very important position to have an outside perspective, not in the controlling party, to look at spending and ask the questions,” McClellan said.
Democrats haven’t won the state treasurer job since 1976.
Contact reporter Brandon at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.