Fitzpatrick rolls to election as state treasurer
Shell Knob man first Barry Countian to win statewide race
Republican Scott Fitzpatrick, of Shell Knob, sailed to an easy win in his first bid for election as state treasurer, keeping the position he has held by appointment since January 2019.
Fitzpatrick declined to make any early statements, though he appeared on an even pace other Republican statewide office holders in early returns, holding a commanding 62 percent of the vote with 47 percent of the precincts reporting.
“Obviously, I'm incredibly honored for the support I received from the whole state, and especially from Barry County,” Fitzpatrick said.
He received 12,962 votes in Barry County or 84 percent.
“It's always nice when you're the top vote-getter in your home county,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m grateful to the local voters who let me serve in the House, which led to the appointment as treasurer.”
It was an unusual position for Fitzpatrick, having not faced opposition since the August 2012 primary for the 158th District State Representative seat, which he won with 42 percent of the vote at age 25. He remained unopposed in primaries and general elections in 2014, 2016 and 2018. His political rise was meteoric, placing him as chairman of the powerful finance committee in the Missouri House, where his attention to details and fiscal leadership gained him the respect of Gov. Mike Parson, who tabbed him to fill the state treasurer's job once Eric Schmitt moved to the position of state attorney general.
Running a statewide campaign was notably different for Fitzpatrick, who had little opposition in his election track record.
“I worked really hard [in this campaign],” he said. “There are a lot of different types of voters in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia. I've been to every part of the state and campaigned on things we've done that have bipartisan support. I focused on good government issues.”
For example, Fitzpatrick cited putting $3.5 million into the hands of people owed past due child support by channeling unclaimed property funds to those owed. Likewise, he worked with the Department of Labor to move unclaimed property funds into the hands of the unemployed. He cited placing information on county governments on his department's online portal to provide more information in the public's access without having to go through local officials.
“We're doing a lot of things that have broad support and have tried to highlight those,” he said.
Fitzpatrick is one of the youngest people to hold a state office. No Barry Countian has been elected to a state office, though Fitzpatrick is not the first to serve. Attorney Mike Garrett, of Monett, served as the first state director of the Department of Public Safety, a non-elected position, appointed by Governor Kit Bond in 1974. Garrett also served as supervisor of liquor control for Missouri in 1973.
Fitzpatrick is founder of MariCorp US, a Shell Knob-based marine manufacturing and construction company.
Fitzpatrick gave credit for supporting his campaign to his wife, Mallory, and his parents, throughout his election bids. He also cited retired Barry County Collector Janice Varner for her efforts.
“The staff I have in the treasurer's office worked hard for the people of the state, and are largely responsible for the successes we've had,” Fitzpatrick said. “They worked on the initiatives I wanted to work on and made them their own. That's what we campaigned on, doing good work, and that translated into this victory.
“I'm looking forward to getting back to work as treasurer.”