Here are the candidates running to be the next State Treasurer

Three candidates are asking for your vote to become the next State Treasurer this fall.
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 3:41 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Three candidates are asking for your vote to become the next State Treasurer this fall. Incumbent John Schroder (R) is in the race for governor instead of seeking re-election.

Former U.S. Congressman Dr. John Fleming and State Representative Scott McKnight are the two Republicans in the race, followed by Democrat Financial Advisor Dustin Granger. Each of them believes their approach to where the state should invest your money is worth your vote.

Granger said Louisiana needs to look focus less on oil and gas investments and instead invest in clean energy.

“We’ve been, as a state, putting all of our eggs in one basket. If I had a client like Louisiana that owns an oil company or works at an oil company, I wouldn’t want them putting all of their savings in that same oil company. It just makes financial sense to diversify. There are all kinds of great emerging companies and industries out there,” said Granger (D).

But neither Republican in the race believes investments in oil are the problem.

“Obviously any industry and any alternative is great and we need to continue to look towards that, but we can’t abandon one of the biggest industries we have in the state that provides many jobs for our citizens,” said Rep. McKnight (R).

“So, we’re attempting to use more and more renewables but they’re not providing or meeting the needs and they’re not as cost-effective,” added Dr. Fleming (R).

Dr. Fleming, who served as Deputy Assistant to former President Donald Trump after two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, said that aside from managing state funds properly, Louisiana’s top priority should be diversifying our economy like our neighbors do.

“We need to look at Texas and their best practices and begin to apply them in Baton Rouge, so we don’t need to be fully dependent on oil and gas any longer,” Dr. Fleming continued.

McKnight, who was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2019, said it is important to work with the legislature to pay the state’s obligations.

“Currently, we’re investing in a lot of programs and a lot of investments outside of Louisiana, and I would look to put a lot of those dollars back inside the state,” McKnight explained.

If there was not already a big enough difference when it comes to how parties want to invest in energy, both take drastically different positions on how the state should treat banks who want to invest based on social issues instead of financial obligations.

Granger said he would lift bans from banks with certain political and social views from investing in communities. McKnight said it would depend on if the values of the banks are the same as the ones Louisiana citizens have. Dr. Fleming said he would be vigilant in making sure investments are being made for the purpose they’re designed for.

Both parties also differ when it comes to eliminating the state income tax. As might have already guessed, Democrats want to see it remain in place while Republicans want to see it thrown away.

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