Endorsement: Hunt for another GOP bid for Kane County auditor

  • Terry Hunt, left, and Craig Lee, right, are Republican candidates for Kane County auditor in the 2016 election.

    Terry Hunt, left, and Craig Lee, right, are Republican candidates for Kane County auditor in the 2016 election.

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Updated 2/19/2016 9:32 AM

Perhaps the harshest criticism one could level against the first term of Kane County Auditor Terry Hunt is that the auditor found himself caught up in the unseemly infighting over spending between the county board chairman and the county coroner. But even on that score -- where Hunt held up payment of certain of the coroner's bills while awaiting a ruling about whether they were appropriate -- the auditor has a solid case that he was doing his job of keeping watch over the public's money.

That's an important point in his bid for re-election, because challenger Craig Lee contends the expenses of Hunt's office ballooned during his tenure and that the auditor monitors spending so lightly that the office is all but irrelevant.

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We don't see it that way. Hunt's office has seen an increase in its budget, set and supported by the county board, and it has used the increase to substantially modernize its operations and improve transparency about county spending. Indeed, Kane County residents have greater online access today than they've ever had thanks to the OpenGov initiative Hunt launched.

Retired from a career in finance, Lee has a background well suited to the goals of a county auditor. But, with 40 years of high-level professional experience in auditing and accounting, so does Hunt, and he's been doing the job well for four years. He's earned the right to represent his party in the bid for another four.

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