October 31, 2018

State Treasurer Candidates Discuss Qualifications, Diversity

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Democrat John Aguilera and Republican State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell.

Democrat John Aguilera and Republican State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell.

Democratic State Treasurer candidate John Aguilera says he would bring much needed diversity to the Statehouse.

Aguilera is a former state legislator and a county councilman. He’s also the former head of the Indiana Latino Institute and, if elected, would be the first Latino statewide elected official in Indiana history.

He says that should matter to voters.

“There is no diversity there. There is none," Aguilera says. "And when you think about priorities, if we’re not at the table, how are our issues being looked at?”

Aguilera says he would invest state money more aggressively. He says this will open more ways to help Hoosier communities, and gives the lead contamination crisis in East Chicago as an example.

“We need to be flexible and we need to be creative in trying to rebuild these communities.”

Incumbent Republican State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell relies on her background and career as she makes her re-election bid.

Mitchell was first elected as treasurer in 2014. She also worked in the office for seven years before that.

“The qualifications and the experience are what really matter, I think, when you’re handling $7 billion of state dollars,” Mitchell says.

Mitchell says she wants to continue her efforts to grow the state’s College 529 plans and expand the new ABLE Indiana program, which helps Hoosiers with disabilities invest.

Indiana’s treasurer is unique from its counterparts in other states in that it oversees the 9-1-1 program here. Mitchell says she wants to build on recent upgrades that allow people to text 9-1-1 from their cellphones.

“The implementation of Rapid SOS will make that a lot quicker for dispatchers to be able to find where you’re calling from,” Mitchell says.

Democrats haven't won an election for Treasurer of State since 1974.

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