Treasurer is a down-ticket race that boils down to being competent in finance or not. Incumbent State Treasurer Lynn Fitch has many good qualities, including her charm and beauty pageant good looks.

Republican challenger David McRae has 11 years of investment experience through his family firm, McRae Investments, and is an attorney. McRae is competent and more fit for the office, hands down.

McRae wants to continue a long family tradition of service and, because he saw first-hand an office that's been horribly mismanaged, he's seeking public office for the fist time - as Fitch did four years ago.

Fitch, worst of all, by shutting down the state's college savings program for 18 months, increased the price of college plans for students and parents.

Fitch spent $103,000 on new furniture, framed art and remodeling while at the State Personnel Board and the Treasurer's office.

At the same time, she refused for three years to print unclaimed property notices as required by law.

Put two and two together, but the refusal to publish was when Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves wasn't granting remodeling requests, especially frosted glass along with re-touched glamour shots at taxpayer expense.

When Lynn Fitch was Director of the State Personnel Board, she allowed $7.6 million in improper salary and benefit increases that were prohibited by law.

Mississippi needs someone who wants to actually be in the office and serve, someone who has the business acumen to be a responsible Treasurer, not someone who has shown total disregard for the law.

Competence in finance is essential for a state Treasure and David McRae is the best choice.

Mary-Hawkins-Butler for Auditor

Stacey Pickering had two terms to uncover a billion dollar scandal involving the Mississippi Department of Corrections and a prominent Rankin County businessman.

He also had time to uncover a scandal involving the Department of Marine Resources on the Coast, or the Singing River pension fiasco.

Like Democrat Attorney General Jim Hood, Pickering has just proven to be incapable of stopping the big cases as he focuses on the park commission workers and people who misspent a few hundred dollars.

It's for these reasons alone we believe it's time for a change and recommend Mary Hawkins-Butler, who has served Madison so well as mayor for more than three decades.

We believe people are innocent until proven guilty, - or even indicted - but as rumors swirl about how Pickering may or may not have spent campaign funds, his future potential legal woes could be bad for the GOP if he's forced out.

Hawkins-Butler has the fire in the belly to shake things up and probably isn't running for higher office like previous Auditors who were weak when it came to fighting corruption, especially in her home county of Madison. Therefore, we recommend Hawkins-Butler for State Auditor.