Politics & Government

The state auditor’s top attorney is running against her in 2020

State Auditor Beth Wood will get some competition next year from inside her own office. Tim Hoegemeyer, who serves as general counsel for the Office of State Auditor, has announced he’ll seek the top job as a Republican.

He’s spent 12 years in the office, including time leading the Fraud, Waste and Abuse Investigative Division, according to his campaign website. The Fuquay-Varina resident is also a Marine Corps veteran. Hoegemeyer appears to be the first candidate to challenge Wood in 2020.

Hoegemeyer recently resigned but did so giving 60 days’ notice, so Wood said she reassigned him to work in the attorney general’s office. She said the general counsel position includes sensitive, confidential conversations, so “there’s no way that that relationship could stay.”

Asked why he decided to run, Hoegemeyer told the NC Insider that “I have nothing but tremendous respect for Auditor Wood and what she’s accomplished, but I do see a need for a change and a change in focus. I think there needs to be a focus on proactively seeking fraud, waste and abuse, rather than just relying on the hotline tips that come in.” And he said the office should focus on “higher value investigations.”

“I’m not saying someone improperly commuting in a state vehicle wouldn’t be looked at, but there are even more important things out there and they need to be uncovered,” he said.

For her part, Wood said that “nobody can get around the fact that I’m the most qualified person to sit in this seat.”

“There’s nobody on the Republican side that can out-qualify me, but I think people are hoping that if there was a Trump wave, they’d like to be standing there on the other side of the ticket.”

For more state government news, listen to Domecast, the politics podcast from The News & Observer and the NC Insider. You can find it on Megaphone, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

Related stories from Durham Herald Sun