Branstad appoints deputy sec. of state as auditor

DES MOINES – An accountant and former county auditor will serve as Iowa’s next state auditor, Gov. Terry Branstad announced Monday.

Branstad appointed Mary Mosiman, who most recently served as deputy secretary of state, to take over the elected position vacated mid-term by longtime State Auditor David Vaudt. Vaudt resigned last month to become chairman of a national nonprofit accounting board.

An election for a new state auditor will be held in November 2014. Mosiman, a Republican, said she plans to run for a full term next year.

Mosiman, 51, is a certified public accountant who served for 10 years as the Story County auditor. In her new role, she’ll review state and local financial practices. She is the first woman to hold this position.

“Mary Mosiman is a talented experienced public servant, who will keep a very close watch over the tax dollars,” Branstad said. “I’m excited and looking forward to working with Mary as we continue to offer Iowa taxpayers the stability and predictability they deserve.”

Mosiman said she was looking forward to the new role and stressed that she would strive to be an independent watchdog.

“One of my top priorities is to be an independent voice for the people of Iowa. I assume there will be differences of opinion and they will just have to be addressed because it doesn’t go along the lines of politics when it comes to the finances of the state,” Mosiman said.

State Rep. Tyler Olson, a Cedar Rapids Democrat who is the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, questioned how easy it would be for Mosiman to be independent.

“Auditor Vaudt campaigned with Gov. Branstad and was clearly a partisan political figure,” Olson said. “We hope that the new auditor will truly be an independent voice instead of an advocate.”

Vaudt, a Republican, served as auditor since January 2003. He drew scrutiny in 2010 when he endorsed Branstad in his bid for governor after criticizing then-Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat, for his budgeting practices. Vaudt campaigned with Branstad during the election cycle.

Mosiman started the job on Monday. Her salary is $103,000.