JACKSON — Republican Shad White was sworn in Tuesday as Mississippi’s new state auditor, and in a brief speech he pledged to protect taxpayers’ money.
“I told senior staff a couple of weeks ago that I hold myself to a high standard. I work really hard,” White told Audit Department employees at the state Capitol. “And I know that everybody in this room is going to be able to keep up with me. When I sprint, I know y’all are going to sprint too.”
White, 32, will fill the rest of a four-year term that ends in January 2020. Gov. Phil Bryant announced July 6 that he had chosen White to succeed fellow Republican Stacey Pickering, who had been auditor since January 2008.
Auditor is one of eight statewide elected positions in Mississippi government.
Pickering resigned Monday from the $90,000-a-year job as auditor to take a $122,500-a-year job as director of the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board.
White is an attorney and has never held elected office. He has been involved in Republican politics for years, including running Bryant’s re-election campaign in 2015.
After graduating from the University of Mississippi, White was a Rhodes scholar. He later earned a law degree from Harvard. He grew up in Jones County and lives in Rankin County.
Bryant himself was appointed state auditor in 1996 by Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice.
Democrat Steve Patterson had resigned as auditor after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of using a false affidavit to buy a car tag.
“When I was auditor, I used to enjoy saying, ‘In God we trust. All others, we audit,'” Bryant said Tuesday. “Shad, you’re welcome to use that.”
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