Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb enters already crowded 2020 auditor general race
Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb announced Tuesday that he will run for Pennsylvania auditor general in 2020.
Lamb, 57, of Mt. Washington, touted audits conducted during his 12 years as city controller that exposed waste and abuse of tax dollars and led to savings and improvements.
“I look at this job of auditor general as a job that I do here in Pittsburgh, which is trying to make government work better and trying to make government more transparent,” Lamb said. “The things that I do here are exactly what I see the commonwealth as needing. Here’s an opportunity to do the same thing for everybody in Pennsylvania.”
Eugene DePasquale, the current state auditor general, announced in June that he is running for Congress in 2020. DePasquale is serving his second term as auditor general and cannot run for a third term.
Lamb said he will seek the Democratic nomination in 2020. He said he expects to face multiple opponents and has been meeting in recent months with officials across the state to garner support.
At least three Democrats have publicly announced they plan to run for auditor general. They include Christina Hartman, a Lancaster County consultant and former congressional candidate; Nina Ahmad, a former Philadelphia deputy mayor; and Alan Butkovitz, who previously served as Philadelphia controller.
Lancaster Online has reported that Republican county County Commissioner Dennis Stuckey is considering running for the office.
Lamb said he’s heard there could be several other candidates.
“We’re going to take our message across Pennsylvania about this office being the first line of defense for taxpayers in terms of corruption and waste and talk about what I’ve done for Pittsburgh to make Pittsburgh government more responsive and transparent,” he said. “The fact that I come into this thing with at least a base of people who know what I’ve done here is a big plus.”
Lamb said he created the Fiscal Focus Pittsburgh and Open Book Pittsburgh websites to give taxpayers unprecedented access to information about city budget operations, contracts and campaign contributions. He also publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report each year and a shorter version dubbed the Popular Annual Financial Report to offer a comprehensive look at how the city is faring financially.
In his announcement Tuesday, he noted Pittsburgh’s economic turnaround in the last decade.
When he took office 12 years ago, Pittsburgh was nearly bankrupt and the city’s pension was among the most underfunded in the country. Lamb said the city now generates a surplus and the pension fund is on its way to full funding.
Lamb is a lifelong Pittsburgher. He is a graduate of Seton LaSalle High School, Pennsylvania State University, Duquesne University School of Law, and Carnegie Mellon University.
He served from 2000 to 2007 as the Allegheny County prothonotary. He’s also a licensed attorney.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-564-3080, [email protected] or via Twitter .