Editor's note: This story originally published in advance of the August primary. It has been updated to include information about the candidates who will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. This article is part of the Missourian's 2012 general election voters guide.
WHAT'S THE JOB? The treasurer is the chief financial office of the state. He or she is charged with managing the state's $24 billion in revenue and overseeing $600 million in unclaimed property. The treasurer is also responsible for managing the state's 529 college savings plan and its investment portfolio. The treasurer's salary is $107,746 and he or she can serve only two consecutive four-year terms.
Clint Zweifel (D)
Zweifel is the incumbent treasurer and is seeking his second term. He said one of his top priorities is protecting Missouri's AAA credit rating and ensuring the state is earning a competitive interest rate on its deposits.
He said he is running because "Missourians deserve leadership, not partisanship."
Since becoming treasurer, Zweifel has overseen the return of $119 million in unclaimed property, including two accounts worth more than $100,000 in Boone County.
In 2008, he defeated Republican state Sen. Brad Lager by 92,000 votes in the race to succeed Republican Sarah Steelman, who chose not to seek re-election and instead run for governor.
Originally from St. Louis, Zweifel now lives in Columbia. In his spare time, Zweifel said, he enjoys running, reading and taking his daughters to swim meets.
Cole McNary (R)
McNary was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2008, representing a district in west St. Louis County.
While in the House, McNary led efforts to repeal redundant and outdated state statutes and programs.
McNary said he is running for treasurer to "provide long-term planning for Missouri, partially by downsizing state government."
He also said a priority would be to address Missouri’s unfunded public pension program.
Sean O'Toole (L)
A native of Minneapolis, Minn. and Kansas City resident O'Toole is the treasurer of the Missouri Libertarian Party.
If elected, O'Toole said he would work to scale back subsidized loan programs, including the Missouri Linked Deposit Program operated by the treasurer's office.
"Such loan programs, both here in Missouri and throughout the country, have frequently devolved into favoritism for the politically connected with futile attempts to pick winning industries and business," he said.
O'Toole said he is running for office to "return the scope of the office of the treasurer to its constitutional and proper role in state government."
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.