GOP candidates spar over what’s needed to be Pa. auditor general

    The Republican candidates for Pennsylvania auditor general have sparked a debate about what’s actually necessary to be the state’s top fiscal watchdog.

    Both men vying for the GOP nomination for auditor general claim the perfect background for the job.

    Frank Pinto, a registered lobbyist and former president of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers, says leadership is more crucial to running the office than being a certified public accountant.

    “I’m not knocking CPAs, but I don’t think it’s necessary for you to be a CPA to be a leader,” Pinto says.

    Not so fast, says state Rep. John Maher of Allegheny County.

    He’s the other Republican in the race, and a certified accountant with a lot of auditing in his background.

    To him, those skills matter.

    “It’s pretty common sense to me that Pennsylvania deserves an auditor for auditor general,” Maher said.

    Whether this line of debate keeps up hinges on which of the two candidates wins Tuesday’s primary.

    The lone Democrat in the race is state Rep. Eugene DePasquale of York County.

    He isn’t an accountant, and says previous auditors general have done great work without finance backgrounds.

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