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Daniel Elliott

Daniel Elliott

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After a narrow convention win, the Indiana Republican Party’s nominee for State Treasurer is Daniel Elliott.

He will face uncontested Democratic nominee, Jessica McClellan, in November. The state office is open because current Treasurer Kelly Mitchell is not allowed to seek a third consecutive term.

Elliott won by just three votes on June 18, clinching the majority vote and becoming the party candidate. His political journey started in 2013, when he became the president of the Morgan County Redevelopment Commission, where he worked on infrastructure projects like power and sewer plants.

“I know that kind of stuff may not seem sexy to most but I just love it because you’re building your community. You’re helping that community grow and giving opportunities,” Elliott said.

This start in local politics, where he was later elected as a county councilor and chosen as the county chairman for the Republican Party, drew him to the treasurer’s office. Elliott made headlines in 2018 for pushing the GOP to keep anti-gay language in its platform, defining marriage as a union between a woman and a man.

For rural counties without the resources or finances, the Indiana Treasurer serves as a “last-resort” option for funding through the Indiana Bond Bank. Elliott said those funds were crucial to rural areas trying to develop infrastructure or expand broadband.

“Rural Indiana is shrinking and people are leaving the rural areas, oftentimes because they don’t have choices. They need to have good jobs so they’re heading to the suburbs or the urban areas,” Elliott said. “(I have) a couple of children in college and I would love for them to be able to come back to rural Indiana where they grew up.”

Elliott said the College Choice 529 Savings Plan held a personal meaning to him as a poor kid from rural Nebraska, Indiana, an unincorporated community in Jennings County. The State Treasurer oversees the state’s education savings plan and encourages secondary education, whether the student pursues college or technical training.

“High school is not enough. It was in my parent’s day but not in my day,” Elliott said. “Whether you’re in an urban area or the rural areas — education is your ticket out of poverty. Period.”

Elliott’s own education in software application development and cybersecurity would be used to create standards for local governments looking to strengthen their cybersecurity, noting hacks have targeted even the smallest of municipalities.

“These were not some kid in mom’s basement who got bored. These are actually really bad state players: Russia, China (or) organized crime,” Elliott said. They’re looking for vulnerabilities constantly and they don’t care if it’s a small community or a large community.” -- Indiana Capital Chronicle