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Auditor General Candidate Profile: Frank Pinto

Frank Pinto is one of two candidates running for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania Auditor General in Tuesday's primary election. The 67-year-old Pinto feels he is the right choice for the position because of his "51 years of living, teaching, and working" in politics.

"I think I bring a new dimension to that office because I can do what's right and I'm not worried about the ramifications of stepping on someone's toes or doing the politics and worrying about running for some future office," said Pinto. "I can bring accountability for that office, and it's crucial that someone does that."

He says another reason is the 26 years he served as president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers.

"And, you know, the leadership skills are crucial," Pinto said. "You know, you have 67 CPA's, 52 certified floor examiners, 400 auditors in that office already — so there are some skill sets, and you need to choreograph them to make sure that they get the job done right, and I'm not knocking CPA's, but I don't think it's necessary for you to be a CPA to be a leader."

Pinto mentioned that last point because he is not a CPA, and that lack of certification has been what opponent State Representative John Maher (R-Allegheny County) has singled out, that Pinto's lack of certification means Pinto doesn't have the required skills to be an attorney general.

Pinto vigorously disagrees with that idea.

"If that office really needed [a CPA], it would have been articulated in the constitution," Pinto said. "I think you need a manager: someone with the skill sets to motivate and manage an office of well over 600 people, and I don't think another certification just makes you qualified."

The winner of the Maher/Pinto race will take on State Representative Eugene DePasquale (D-York County) in the November election. DePasquale is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The incumbent Auditor General Jack Wagner is limited by law to the two 4-year terms to which he's been elected.

Essential Public Radio's Mary Wilson interviewed Frank Pinto for this story.