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Gallion has Peterson’s backing in bid for state auditor

BISMARCK - Josh Gallion of Bismarck officially jumped into the race for state auditor on Tuesday, and the accounting manager for the state Public Service Commission already has the backing of one Republican officeholder in his bid for the GOP nom...

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Josh Gallion of Bismarck announced Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, that he will seek the Republican Party's nomination for state auditor in 2016. Photo by Mike Nowatzki / Forum News Service

BISMARCK – Josh Gallion of Bismarck officially jumped into the race for state auditor on Tuesday, and the accounting manager for the state Public Service Commission already has the backing of one Republican officeholder in his bid for the GOP nomination.

Current State Auditor Robert R. Peterson, who will retire at the end of his term next year after 20 years in the office, said he recruited Gallion to run.

“I think he’s a perfect fit,” he said.

Gallion, 36, who also is the PSC’s weights and measures program manager, highlighted his five years of experience with the commission and nearly three years as a financial officer and program manager in the Department of Transportation before that.

“These agencies have given me the knowledge and experience with government accounting from the ground up needed to perform duties you expect from your state auditor,” he said during his announcement at state GOP headquarters in Bismarck, with all three PSC commissioners in attendance.

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At least one other Republican plans to seek the GOP nomination in April. Former Bismarck Tribune publisher Brian Kroshus said he expects to officially announce his candidacy in the next several weeks.

Kroshus, 51, said he resigned Oct. 22 after 10 years as the newspaper’s publisher to avoid any conflict of interest. He’s now working as group publisher for Mandan-based Lee Agri-Media, which like the Tribune is owned by Lee Enterprises in Davenport, Iowa.

Kroshus said his extensive business background of working in the private sector for the last 30 years qualifies him for the auditor’s job, adding more details will come with his announcement.

Gallion was born in Spokane, Wash., and has lived in North Dakota since being stationed at Minot Air Force Base nearly 17 years ago, he said. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Dickinson State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Dakota.

He and his wife Becky have two daughters, ages 11 and 8.

“My work history is here, my education is here, my family is here, so really I feel more a part of North Dakota than my home state of Washington,” he said.

Peterson, whose father held the auditor’s job for 24 years before him, noted Gallion’s age before saying the party likes long-serving elected offices.

“And the state auditor’s office loves long-serving elected officials,” he joked.

Related Topics: JOSH GALLION
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