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Agricultural News

Candidate Todd Russ says the Right Kind of Experience is Critical for State Treasurer's Office

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 11:30:05 CDT

Candidate Todd Russ says the Right Kind of Experience is Critical for State Treasurer's Office Farm Director, KC Sheperd, had the chance to visit candidate for Oklahoma State Treasurer, Todd Russ talking about his priorities as the runoff approaches.

“Since I am running for state treasurer, one of the first things I’ll be looking at is the unclaimed property fund and some of the processes inside there,” Russ said. “When it comes to estates and family units, a lot of rural Oklahoma gets caught up in their estate planning and stuff, and their heirs end up not making good claims and it goes into the unclaimed property fund for the state. That is one of the big things I will be looking at right away.”

An important goal of Governor Stitt is to make Oklahoma a top-ten state. Looking at where those state funds are allocated, Russ said his experience in finances will be a great asset in the position of state treasurer.

“It is very important to keep a good account of the money, but I will tell you the state treasurer does not appropriate one dime- they just process the payments that the agencies and the legislature spend, and they invest the surplus,” Russ said. “There are about 10 billion dollars that have to be invested into the proper types of investments. It is to some extent statutorily guided, so you really need to know a lot about the true finance side of the investments.”

Having a true finance background, Russ said, is critical in this position. The investment and finance side is a key piece to the treasurer’s position, he added, because it is essentially the bank CEO for the state of Oklahoma.

One of the biggest problems Russ said producers are facing right now is inflation.

“Fuel is through the roof, fertilizers are outrageous, and proteins are going up,” Russ said. “All of our inputs are just going up more and more. We are seeing a little bit of softening in that, but we have got so far to go."

Russ referred back to the 1980s when we were faced with big inflation cycles. Looking at the indexes today, he added that things are teeing up to be as bad, or worse this time around.

“It took us ten years to get up off our knees and climb out of that, and it is such a huge economy when you get these kinds of inflation area activities going on, you can’t just turn it on a dime,” Russ said. “It takes a long time to bring things back down.”

With his runoff coming up, Russ said he would like people to know that he is honest and has integrity, which are two qualities that are essential in a state treasurer position. Russ has a background of 25 plus years in banking, he added, which includes experience as a bank CEO and managing a 200-million-dollar investment portfolio.

“I’ve got a great track record, but there is a lot of difference in having experience and having the right kind of experience,” Russ said. “They look for that finance piece in banking and the investment side of it, so at the end of the day, experience matters, but in this position, the right kind of experience is critical.”

Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear KC and Todd Russ talking about what makes him a good candidate for Oklahoma State Treasurer.



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