NORFOLK – When it comes to the race for Nebraska State Treasurer, there aren’t really any divisive, hot-button issues for voters to pore over. So for the state’s two Republican candidates, differentiating themselves from one another can be a challenge.
But both John Murante and Taylor Royal draw from different professional experiences. They each say their professional experience is what sets them apart as the best candidate.
“Since being the state treasurer is about money-management and stewardship, you should probably have an accounting or finance background and that’s what my background experience is,” said Taylor Royal, a candidate from Omaha who unsuccessfully challenged Jean Stothert for Omaha Mayor in 2016. “I have education, training and experience in accounting and finance. I’m a double-major from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master’s degree in accounting. I’m a CPA and currently work in wealth management.”
“You need someone who’s managed a business,” said Royal’s opponent – and current state senator from Gretna John Murante. “You need someone who has signed both sides of a payroll check and someone who’s established and managed a budget. That’s what I’ve done. My background is as a conservative Republican state senator in the Nebraska State Legislature, and I’m the former president and CEO of my family’s business, Big Fred’s Pizza.”
Their professional experiences may differ, but their philosophies on how the state treasurer’s office should be run are very similar.
“The state treasurer needs to balance the books of the state,” Murante said. “You need someone who’s done that in the practical and real world. I think government ought to run like a business, and I’ve done that in my life in the private sector.”
“It’s not about writing laws,” said Royal. “You need a qualified professional, I believe, to make sure they’re doing the job well. They need to steward taxpayer dollars well, make and manage our 529 plans well and to go around and make sure our next generation is financially prepared.”