Otto claims her third term as state auditor

Rebecca Otto defeated Randy Gilbert, her GOP challenger.

Nick Wicker

Minnesotans re-elected Rebecca Otto as state auditor Tuesday, giving her a third term in office.

The race finished with Otto, a Democratic-Farmer-Laborer, taking 51.86 percent of the vote, compared to her Republican challenger Randy Gilbert’s 39.68 percent.

Auditing experience and satisfaction with the office’s performance over its past terms marked this year’s campaign for the seat that oversees the spending of more than $20 billion in tax money per year in Minnesota.

“Minnesotans recognized that I’ve worked very hard on their behalf the last eight years and I’ve done my job without fear or favor [and] I’ve conducted myself in a non-partisan manner — and really, I believe that’s what they want,” Otto said after her victory.

In Gilbert’s campaign, he emphasized his qualifications for the office, which include an accounting degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and time as a professional auditor.

“There’s a huge difference in résumés between the current state auditor and myself,” Gilbert said. “I am an accountant, I am an auditor, whereas our current auditor is not.”

Otto, a former state representative, holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s in biology.

She focused her campaign on her track record as past president of the National State Auditors Association and the two national awards she received during her terms as state auditor, including the Excellence in Accountability Award.

“I love being a public servant and will continue to work very hard on their behalf for the next four years,” Otto said.