Louisville banker Michael Bowman won the Democratic primary for state treasurer on Tuesday, defeating Josh Mers of Lexington. Bowman will now face State Treasurer Allison Ball, who was unopposed in the primary, in the fall general election.
“I traveled to more than half of Kentucky and just told people of the state that I have the background and experience that I can take into the office on Day One,” Bowman said after the race was called in his favor. “Also, people saw my willingness to not hesitate to call out a governor for his reckless policies on how money is spent.”
Although some politicians and legislators have advocated abolishing the office, Bowman said, the treasurer’s office is directly accountable to the people for its assigned duties, which include heading the state treasury, managing the state’s depository, making records of all monies due and payable to the state, processing warrants from the Finance and Administration Cabinet, making payments on behalf of the state, overseeing unclaimed property and filing an annual report on all state money.
The treasurer also sits on several boards and commissions as an ex officio member, including State Investment Commission, Teachers’ Retirement Systems, Kentucky Lottery Board, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and Kentucky Lottery Board.
The office has an annual budget of slightly more than $4 million and it has 27 employees. Kentucky’s treasurer is paid $124,113 a year.
Bowman, a branch manager for US Bank in Louisville, agrees with Ball that the state treasurer’s office should not be eliminated. “It’s accountable to the people,” said Bowman, 36. “If you moved its duties to the executive branch, it would be accountable to the governor and not to the people.”
Bowman claims he is the most qualified for the office since he “manages a multimillion-dollar portfolio for US Bank.” He ran unsuccessfully for Louisville Metro Council in 2008 and lost a close race last year for Jefferson County clerk.
- Michael Bowman 218,174
- Josh Mers 110,349