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.