Charlie Wheeler figures to have geography on his side in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary for Missouri state treasurer.
The former Kansas City mayor and state senator is the only candidate in the primary from outside the St. Louis area. If Mark Powell, Andria Simckes and Clint Zweifel split the vote on the east side of the state, Wheeler hopes to sneak in as the winner.
The surviving Democrat will face State Sen. Brad Lager of Savannah, the only Republican on the primary ballot.
Wheeler, 81, has raised only $7,850 for the race but says he is the most qualified candidate. The treasurer oversees $3.1 billion in state investments, serves as the director of banks for the state and safeguards $220 million in unclaimed property.
The treasurer has limited power and usually holds little political sway, but the job has served as a springboard to higher office. Mel Carnahan and Bob Holden were treasurers before becoming governor, and the current treasurer, Sarah Steelman, is running for governor.
Wheeler is becoming a perennial candidate for office, having run for Jackson County executive two years ago. He noted, with a touch of humor, that there is a two-term limit on the treasurer’s office so he could not run for a third term, when he would be 89.
Wheeler, a physician who also has a law degree, says he is prepared to be treasurer because of his experience as mayor for eight years in the 1970s, as operator of a medical laboratory for 30 years, and as a stockbroker and insurance agent.
Read the full story at KanasCity.com.