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Utahns elect first non-CPA as auditor in 40 years

Published November 7, 2012 12:13 am

State elections • Dougall ahead in auditor contest; incumbent Ellis leads for treasurer.
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Utah on Tuesday elected its first state auditor in 40 years who is not a certified public accountant. Meanwhile, incumbent GOP State Treasurer Richard Ellis was headed toward winning a second term against Democrat Christopher Stout in early unofficial returns.

John Dougall, a Republican Utah House member and high-tech consultant, was ahead in unofficial returns in the race for state auditor. Neither he nor Democratic opponent Mark Sage is a certified public accountant, nor was Constitution Party candidate Richard Proctor.

The only CPA who had been in the race — 17-year incumbent Republican Auston Johnson — was defeated by Dougall in the party primary.

The race has been bitter between Dougall and Sage, a retired U.S. Air Force program manager.

Dougall said Sage lacked proper financial expertise for the job. Sage said Dougall had a history as a lawmaker of trying to keep government deliberations hidden and is too beholden to like-minded donor-buddies in the Legislature.

However, the pair also sometimes used humor as each claimed they were better at penny-pinching.

Dougall called himself "Frugal Dougall" in ads, and touted that he grew up drinking powdered milk as the oldest in a family of 11 children, and bought his own children a turtle as a pet "because it eats less." Sage, an avid archer, said he could keep spending on target.