Entenza to bypass public financing for auditor race

This year’s contest for state auditor could get unusually expensive, with both DFL primary candidates now producing TV ads, and challenger Matt Entenza foregoing spending limits.

Entenza, a former state representative, formally notified the campaign of incumbent DFL Auditor Rebecca Otto this week that he will not sign a public subsidy agreement. That allows him to exceed the election cycle expenditure limit.

The base spending limit for a state auditor candidate is currently $417,300, according to the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

“Matt will be spending some of his own money and will also be raising money as well,” said Entenza campaign spokesman Dave Colling.

Otto said in an email that she signed the public subsidy agreement.

“Why would a state Auditor campaign need to spend more than $400,000 to communicate their message? This is an oversight position not a policy position,” Otto said.

But Entenza’s move mean Otto can now exceed the limit, if she chooses, and still receive the public subsidy.

Meanwhile, Otto unveiled her first TV ad of the campaign.

The ad, titled “Nationally Respected,” highlights some of Otto’s accomplishments and recognitions during eight years in office, such as being elected president of the National State Auditors Association.  She also emphasizes her DFL party endorsement.

Entenza announced his first TV ad last week.