Auditor candidate Entenza campaigns in Willmar
WILLMAR — Matt Entenza wants to make the office of state auditor more visible and more involved in helping the state plan for the future.
Entenza was in Willmar campaigning Thursday morning. The DFL candidate is running against incumbent Auditor Rebecca Otto in the Aug. 12 primary. The winner of the primary will face Republican Randy Gilbert in the November general election.
Entenza said he feels his background as a prosecutor of white collar crime and financial fraud is good preparation for the auditor’s office.
“An auditor needs to do more than balance the books,” Entenza said. The auditor also needs to watch over state pension plans and state agencies to help understand where the state is headed financially.
Rural communities and schools, in particular, need more attention to their financial futures, he said.
Entenza was critical of Otto, the current auditor, for focusing more on balancing the state’s books and not speaking out on some other issues.
“The office needs to do a better job for rural Minnesota,” he said.
Entenza filed for office on the last day filings were open and surprised party officials, who had endorsed Otto for re-election at a party convention the weekend before.
That shouldn’t hurt him with the party or in the primary, he said.
“That’s all ‘inside baseball,’” he said, and the political party drama probably means little to most voters. Gov. Mark Dayton ran in a primary four years ago on his way to election, he said, and the party happily endorsed him this spring.
Entenza said he hopes to see more discussion generated about the role of the state auditor in the primary.
Entenza is a native of Worthington and founded Minnesota 2020, a non-profit think tank that conducts research on major issues in the state. He is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and served as minority leader of the House.