Republican incumbent State Auditor Tera Klutz first won election in 2018 after Gov. Eric Holcomb appointed her in 2017. She filled a vacancy created after former Gov. Mike Pence became vice president, pulling Holcomb from lieutenant governor to governor. Holcomb selected Suzanne Crouch, the former state auditor, as his lieutenant governor.
“I feel like with that local government experience, it was very vital for me to come in here,” Klutz said. “I tell people, the state auditor doesn’t audit the financial records of Indiana – we create the reports that get audited.”
Klutz said she might consider changing the name of the office to state comptroller, if reelected, to better align with the office’s duties.
The Fort Wayne native initially worked as a certified public accountant in the private sector, before becoming the chief deputy county auditor of Allen County in 2002.
After two terms, Klutz ran to be Allen County’s auditor, winning in 2010 and 2014.
In her first state term, Klutz said her office documented all processes and procedures to protect institutional knowledge from turnover and revamped the state’s Transparency Portal.
“We gave it a new face where it’s searchable and has different data tables with pie charts. It’s very user friendly,” Klutz said. “A lot of times people who start digging in will have more questions – which is when my office can then step in and help them.”
Klutz called transparency “fiscally responsible,” noting that having information out there, rather than releasing it on a one-on-one basis, alleviates her office from doing the same work repeatedly.
“We used to hold every (payment) for 60 days when I first came in,” Klutz said. “Now we just pay it as we get it and then we can audit it the same day.”
She will face both Democratic and Libertarian opposition this year in her bid for re-election. -- Indiana Capital Chronicle