It seems that both major Republican candidates for state auditor are getting ahead of themselves.
That is to say that Thomas Schweich and House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, are scuffling over future elections.
Schweich fired the first volley in an interview with KY3 political reporter David Catanese. The former diplomat and ambassador said that he would fill out his first term as auditor if he were the "consensus candidate."
Icet shot out a press release today promising to serve a full-term as auditor if he's elected.
“Missourians deserve a State Auditor focused on protecting their tax dollars, not someone scheming to move on to a more prestigious office. Though my opponent might view the job as a mere stepping stone to get back inside the D.C. Beltway, I believe it’s one of the most important jobs in Missouri – and a job worthy of my full attention," Icet said in a statement.
The tiff is rather odd, mainly because it seems to overlook the fact that precedent is against either candidate prevailing in November 2010. Down-ballot incumbents rarely lose re-election campaigns, although both candidates seem to have the fundraising support and organization to be competitive against state Auditor Susan Montee.
On a somewhat similar note, Schweich called on Icet to step down as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He praised Sen. Gary Nodler's decision to resign as Senate Appropriations Committee chairman to focus on his congressional bid.
"The state auditor is required to be independent of all outside influences. Unfortunately, Rep. Icet. has chosen a different course," Schweich said in a statement. "I encourage him to do the right thing and step down as budget chair while he pursues the office of state auditor."
In an interview with the AP, Icet reiterated that he would stay on as the chairman of the powerful committee.