NEW: Third party candidate for state auditor hopes to beat the odds

By Breana Jones

JEFFERSON CITY – Charles Baum may seem like a long shot for Missouri State Auditor, but the St. Louis native originally had his eye on an even higher prize.

“I couldn’t run for president, so I decided to run for State Auditor,” Baum said.

The Libertarian candidate usually isn’t the first choice to come to voters’ minds, but he said he believes his party deserves a fighting chance.

“The Libertarian Party stands for something very simple, we stand for less government and more personal responsibility,” Baum said in a phone interview. “Most people would believe in the same thing.”

According to Baum, most Americans are Libertarian at heart, but they don’t vote that way for two major reasons — they don’t know what the Libertarian party stands for or they don’t want to throw away their vote.

He claims that voters believe if they vote for a third party, they would be wasting their vote. Baum said in actuality, the opposite is true.

By voting for a major party Baum said he believes your vote is lost among the multitudes.

“Unless your candidate wins by one vote,” Baum said.

Baum is running against Republican Tom Schweich and Democrat incumbent Susan Montee in the November elections, but he isn’t discouraged by the two major party candidates .

His website says that as a Libertarian, Baum would be best suited for the State Auditor position because the office is one that must remain independent of all party ties.

Baum said he believes that with power comes corruption, but stopped short of accusing the current State Auditor of real wrongdoing.

“I’m not saying Susan Montee has done a bad job,” he said, “but I have an advantage because I am not encumbered by a major party.”

Baum said it is important that the State Auditor be objective,

Although acknowledging he lacks governmental experience, Baum argues “Our country could really benefit from a stronger third party.”

Baum is a financial planner and mentor at Renaissance Financial.

When he’s not working on his campaign or at the office, Baum can be found in his garden in his home in University City. He and his wife Carol are recent grandparents to one-year-old Camille, the first child of their only daughter Jennifer.

This November, he asks Missouri voters to remember their true values, and to ask themselves if the Democrat or Republican candidates sincerely represent those values.