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Republican Allison Ball Wins Reelection As Kentucky Treasurer

Courtesy Commonwealth of Kentucky

Republican Allison Ball has won a second term as state treasurer against challenger Michael Bowman, according to the Associated Press.

In a previous interview with WFPL, Ball pointed to her work launching projects like a state spending transparency website, and starting a savings and investment program for Kentuckians with disabilities. She said starting these accounts, which were enabled by a federal law, allow people with disabilities who are enrolled in programs like Social Security Income to save more money without losing that benefit.

Ball has a law degree from the University of Kentucky, and was previously a bankruptcy and commercial litigation attorney.

She’s said one challenge for her office is the ongoing pension crisis.

“You need to be need to tighten your belt as much as you can and make sure you're using money as wisely as you can be,” Ball said. “And that's one reason I also push for transparency, because I think it's important that people see where their money is going when you don't have an abundance of money.”

The treasurer’s office is in charge of Kentucky’s money and making sure state spending is legal and constitutional. And while candidates running for treasurer race run on a political party ticket, the job was created to serve as a watchdog over taxpayer dollars, no matter the political party in the legislature or who’s in the Governor’s mansion. Ball said she’s done just that.

“I have not only done a job the way it's supposed to be done, I've been that watchdog on taxpayer dollars,” Ball said. “I’ve stopped fraud: I caught a $5.3 billion fraud attempt several months ago, caught embezzlement attempts, I made sure whatever comes out of my office legal, was constitutional was correct. And that's the core function of the job.”

The treasurer also sits on several state boards, such as the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System, the Lottery Board and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. The office is also in charge of state unclaimed property, such as rental deposits that a Kentuckian never had returned, old life insurance policies, stocks or paychecks. They serve four year terms, and can be elected twice.

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter.