Fitzpatrick officially announces for treasurer
Kickoff event brings state officeholders to Cassville High School
About 425 people came to Cassville High School on Monday to support Scott Fitzpatrick as he officially kicked off his 2020 campaign for reelection as Missouri State Treasurer.
The event, which brought together a number of conservative stars of the state, featured a dinner and speeches from five state officeholders, including Gov. Mike Parson, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and Missouri State House Speaker Elijah Haahr. Scott Cupps, at the time a candidate for State Representative, also spoke at the event.
Fitzpatrick, the keynote speaker, was last to take the stage, and he was surprised to be welcomed to the microphone by the Cassville High School cheerleaders chanting, “Scott, Scott, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, no one can.”
After thanking all those in attendance and the organizers, Fitzpatrick talked about his history in politics and before.
“I was raised in southwest Missouri and knew what I wanted early, and I started a business,” Fitzpatrick said. “I started Maricorp US, back then called Waterfront Services, and our first job was for $999 putting bumpers on a dock in Shell Knob, and it was a comedy of errors. After a couple of summers, we got better at what we were doing.
“In my last semester of high school, a storm destroyed some boat docks, and I saw that as an opportunity. I tracked down the owners and was awarded bids for two docks before graduation, and now Maricorp US is one of the biggest businesses in the industry.”
Fitzpatrick said his transition from the private sector to public service stemmed from his dealing with government overreach and over-regulation.
“There were times I literally begged government employees to get permits so I could keep paying employees so they could support their families,” he said.
Fitzpatrick was first elected to the House in 2012, rising to the position of House Budget Chair before getting the call in the fall of 2018 from Parson about being appointed to the treasurer position.
“[In the House], we balanced the budget, paid down the state’s debt and raised the surplus, [among other budgetary accomplishments],” Fitzpatrick said. “I knew there was no better role for me with my skillset than becoming treasurer.”
As treasurer, Fitzpatrick set a record by returning $1 million in unclaimed property to Missouri residents in his first nine days in office. He has since returned more than $40 million in unclaimed property. He also worked with the governor to create a new automated process for using unclaimed property to pay past-due child support. Fitzpatrick said more than 50,000 families have received funds, with one parent receiving a total of $30,000.
Fitzpatrick also said he is not wavering in denying state-funded payments to abortion providers. Finally, he noted his work fighting socialism.
“I will always be a voice for free markets and against socialism,” he said. “I will continue to be guided by my southwest Missouri values.
Early in his speech, Fitzpatrick thanked his wife, Mallory, for her support during his time in politics.
“Public service is a team sport, and I have an incredible wife and mother to our children, Luke and Carson, who are almost four,” he said.
Fitzpatrick also said state politics is a team effort, which is why so many statewide officeholders were in attendance.
“Of the 32 years I’ve been alive, and the 15 I’ve been paying attention, we have not had this kind of firepower in Cassville,” he said. “This group acts as a team. We get out and fight for our shared values, and we need your help in 2020.”
Parson, who spoke before Fitzpatrick, talked largely of Republican values in Missouri and gaining his in Wheatland and through being a county sheriff.
“Small towns are the heart and soul of Missouri,” he said. “I also see a lot of kids and young people here tonight, and that’s exciting because they are what this is all about.”
Parson talked of his pro-life stance, saying every child has a right to life.
He also talked of his record when it comes to the unemployment rate, which he said is now at 3.1 percent, the lowest in Missouri history. Parson went on to list numerous out-of-state businesses that have brought multi-million dollar projects to the state and created hundreds of jobs.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about common sense,” he said. “We pass these values down to the next generation by electing good leaders who keep our values of God, freedom, independence and family values, and that’s why we have all come down here tonight.
Earlier in the event, Schmitt, Ashcroft, Kehoe and Haahr spoke for a few minutes each, as well as Cupps, who spoke mostly of his experiences going to school and teaching at Cassville.
Following the event, Parson’s office sent a press release saying Parson has officially endorsed Fitzpatrick.
“Scott is a leader with a proven track record in our state as a successful small business owner, a wise steward of Missouri’s state budget, and an important watchdog of the people’s money,” Parson said. “I am proud to endorse Treasurer Fitzpatrick as he seeks election in 2020 because I know he will continue working hard every day on behalf of the people of Missouri.”
Fitzpatrick said he was was excited to have the governor’s blessing.
“The governor’s endorsement is great news for our campaign,” Fitzpatrick said. “We will continue working together to find more ways to reduce tax burdens on working Missourians, continue balancing our budget, and promoting fiscally responsible policies that will allow our economy to continue to grow.”