State Auditor faces primary challenger, former employees

Christine T. Nguyen—The North State Journal
The NC Legislative Building on Monday

RALEIGH — North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood is three challengers this year and two of those seeking to take over her position are former employees. Tim Hoegemeyer, a Republican, worked for the department for 12 years while Luis Toledo, a Democrat, worked under Wood for three years.

Both men say they are running because they saw issues with the way Wood was running the department and the relatively low number of audits being conducted.

The third candidate is Anthony Street, a Republican from Brunswick County.

Beth Wood was first elected in 2008 and is currently in her third term as North Carolina’s State Auditor. She has the distinction of being the first woman elected State Auditor in North Carolina history.

“I remain undeterred in my mission to protect taxpayers every step of the way. From start to finish, I vow to safeguard how your tax dollars are spent,” Wood says on her campaign website.

In her first run in 2008, Wood beat her opponent, Republican Leslie Merritt by over 290,000 votes.  In 2012, Wood defeated Republican Debra Goldman by over 318,000 votes.

2016 was a very different story, with Wood narrowly winning over Republican Chuck Stuber by just 6,042 votes (.14%).

Wood is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who worked for the Auditor’s office for 22 years and she also worked at the State Treasurer’s Office.

Before working in state government, Beth worked for Rayovac Corporation, as a CPA with McGladrey & Pullen and was the Chief Financial Officer for a North Carolina-based furniture company.

She first graduated from a community college and worked as a dental hygienist, but then sought a Bachelor’s in accounting, East Carolina University. In 1987, she formally became a Certified Public Accountant.

Her areas of focus continue to be identifying wasteful or abusive spending and reporting it for legislative action.

Luis Toledo is a Certified Auditor and Public Manager currently working as an Audit Manager at Ernst & Young and is a Professor of Public Policy at Elon University. He had a failed run for state senate in 2018. He recently earned the endorsement of Equality North Carolina in the primary.

“I’m running for State Auditor because accountability in North Carolina is not where it needs to be and critical programs are being overlooked,” Toledo says on his website. Main platform issues for Toledo include public education, healthcare services, housing & disaster recovery efforts, the environment, and cybersecurity.

Before leaving for the private sector, Toledo was an Assistant State Auditor at the NC State Auditor’s Office, worked for the Budget & Tax Policy Analyst at NC Justice Center.

Toledo is also a U.S. Air Force Veteran who spent four years on active duty from 2003-2007.  He also served as a Presidential Management Fellow at U.S. Department of State. Toledo holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio (2008) and a master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University (2009).

Tim Hoegemeyer worked at State Auditor’s office under two state auditors as general counsel. He spent some of that 12 years leading the Fraud, Waste and Abuse Investigative Division.

“I have seen things that need to change and can only be changed by the elected State Auditor. That’s why I decided to run. To bring a change in leadership style and focus,” Hoegemeyer said in a candidate survey.

Hoegemeyer is originally from Nebraska and attended college at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He served in the Marine Corps as an Artillery Officer (1991-1996) after college. The corps assigned him to North Carolina in 1992 and he decided to make his home in the Tarheel state.

Before earning a master’s in Public Administration from North Carolina State University, Hoegemeyer worked in banking. He holds his Juris Doctorate degree from Campbell University.

Key platform issues for Hoegemeyer include working cooperatively to promote good governance, sound fiscal management and proactively exposing fraud, waste, and inefficiencies/ineffectiveness in state government.

Anthony Wayne Street is a member of the Brunswick County Soil and Water Board. He is currently in his second term in that position.

In the past, Street’s website says he has worked in “the fields of nuclear security” and “commercial fishing.” His bio states he also owns a small farm in Sampson County.

Street holds an unspecified undergraduate degree at UNC Wilmington and master’s in Public Administration from UNC Pembroke.

About A.P. Dillon 229 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_