“There’s a lot that divides us,” Malek says in the ad. “But the one thing that unites us all is our love for this great country.”
Vivek Malek speaks Dec. 20 after being announced as the next Missouri State Treasurer by Gov. Mike Parson (Photo courtesy Missouri Governor’s Office).
Missouri Treasurer Vivek Malek may have to fend off at least two of his fellow Republicans in the GOP primary next year, after another state legislator joined the race on Monday.
Malek, who was appointed treasurer by Gov. Mike Parson in January, was already facing a primary challenge by state Rep. Cody Smith, a Carthage Republican and chairman of the powerful House budget committee.
Smith officially launched his campaign earlier this month, though he signaled his intentions in April by filing paperwork with the state ethics commission declaring he would run for treasurer.
On Monday, state Sen. Andrew Koenig joined the race, kicking off his candidacy with a fundraiser in St. Louis. He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he is running because “we need conservatives up and down the state ticket.”
The treasurer’s office was vacated by Scott Fitzpatrick last year after he was elected state auditor.
Since taking office, Malek has post huge fundraising totals — especially for a first-time candidate.
Between his candidate committee and an independent PAC created to boost his campaign, Malek reported roughly $2 million cash on hand this month. He recently launched a TV ad introducing him to voters by highlighting his journey from India to America.
Smith reported this month roughly $300,000 cash on hand between his campaign and supporting PAC. Koenig had around $80,000.
Lucas Johnson, a business owner from St. Louis County, is running in the race as a Democrat.
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