Missouri auditor and gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich has been found dead in an apparent suicide, according to local media reports.
Schweich, considered a
leading Republican contender for the party’s 2016 nomination for
state governor, died Thursday after being transported to a
hospital in the wake of a “medical situation” at his
home. Police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he died from a
single gunshot wound and that they are inclined to believe
Schweich committed suicide.
“What we know at this point suggests an apparent
suicide,” Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy said on
Thursday. However, he added that an autopsy and investigation
still need to be conducted.
I am very sad and hurt so much for Tom Schweich’s family. Good
man. Dedicated public servant. Hug those you love.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) February
Schweich spokesman Spence Jackson released a statement regarding
the auditor’s death, though he did not comment on reports of a
“It is with great sadness that I confirm the passing of
Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich today. Please keep in mind
his wife Kathy and two children,” he said.
According to the Associated Press, Schweich had served as
Missouri’s auditor since 2011. He was re-elected in November 2014
and recently announced he would run for governor in 2016.
Just seven minutes before a 911 call was made from his home,
Schweich had left a message with the Post-Dispatch requesting an
interview. The interview was set to focus on what Schweich
believed were attempts by the state’s Republican Party chairman,
John Hancock, to spread misinformation about his Jewish heritage.
Schweich was an Episcopalian, though he did have a Jewish
grandfather and said he was proud of his heritage. He was
reportedly set to claim that Hancock was telling potential donors
that he was Jewish in an effort undermine his campaign effort.
Hancock denies the allegation.
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) February
The current governor, Democrat Jay Nixon, released the following statement after news of Schweich’s
“I join all Missourians in mourning the passing of State
Auditor Tom Schweich, a brilliant, devoted and accomplished
public servant who dedicated his career to making Missouri and
the world a better place,” he said.
“From his courageous work to combat the illegal drug trade
abroad in Afghanistan to his tireless efforts to protect the
interests of taxpayers here in Missouri, Tom Schweich’s
exceptional intellect and unwavering dedication to public service
left a legacy that will endure for many years to come. The First
Lady and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Tom’s wife
Kathy and two children, Emilie and Thomas, Jr.”
Meanwhile, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) said Schweich
“had a long and unblemished record as a great public