Lawsuit raises questions about Missouri auditor candidate
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Republican candidate for Missouri auditor had a Kansas address in 2013, according to court records that could raise new questions about her eligibility to seek the office.
Saundra McDowell was living in Mission, Kansas, near the Missouri border, when she was sued by the furniture company Nebraska Furniture Mart Inc. for failing to pay about $700, plus interest and attorney fees after entering into a contract in 2012, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The dates are important because the state’s Constitution says an auditor must have been a resident for 10 years at the time of election. McDowell didn’t move to Missouri until 2010 but has said she nonetheless qualifies for the ballot because she was in law school in Virginia the previous two years and had intended to move to the state where her husband is from once she finished. She has not previously said she lived in Kansas after her marriage.
McDowell sent a statement via email that did not address the Kansas address.
“I meet the residency requirement,” McDowell said. “If the Democrats want to continue to raise questions, it’s obviously because they know their liberal insider nominee does not match up well against a conservative veteran who wasn’t handpicked by party bosses.”
In a statement, Galloway campaign manager Eric Slusher said, “The issue here is truthfulness, including more questions about her intent to become a Missouri resident. Given her serious financial problems it should make voters wonder what else she hasn’t been truthful about.”
McDowell, a Jefferson City attorney, was ordered to pay $32,658 to a Springfield landlord in 2015 after she and her husband, Jonathan, stopped paying rent on a home.
McDowell could face a legal fight to stay on the ballot if one of the other candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot challenges the residency rule. The challenge can’t be issued until after the election is officially certified on Aug. 28. Changes to the ballot must be finalized six weeks before the election, which is Sept. 25.