While a competitive Democratic primary heats up in the race to succeeded Suzanne Bump as the Commonwealth's next State Auditor, candidate Anthony Amore awaits the challenger as presumably the lone Republican in the contest – and he began his race with a big endorsement in tote. Outgoing Governor Charlie Baker awarded his first endorsement of the 2022 election season to Amore in his bid for Auditor.

"I just believe he endorsed me because he knows we're of like minds in a lot of respects," Amore said when he joined me on-air recently. "We're both very much focused on good government. We both believe that government should be efficiently run and should be run with integrity, and there's really no better office to highlight that than Auditor. The governor recognizes that the Auditor's office is much more important than people may realize, and he knows that I have the experience not just doing this sort of work but also leading a big organization."

Amore distinguishes himself from the other candidates in the race with his decades-long history of auditing and investigative work. For 15 years, Amore worked as a federal agent for both FAA Security and the Department of Homeland Security. After 9/11, Amore was tapped for the position of Assistant Federal Security Director and tasked with leading the effort to rebuild the security infrastructure at Logan Airport.

In 2005, Amore became the Director of Security and Chief Investigator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a crown jewel of Boston's art and cultural profile that displays a multi-billion dollar art collection. Amore has also conducted an investigation into the 1990 heist at the museum which remains the largest theft in the history of the world.

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Amid the ongoing debate on the affordability of college, and UMass's announced 2.5 percent tuition hike, Amore wants to use power of the Auditor's office to audit the state education system to determine the true cost of college and find what is driving up tuition costs.

"I think the Auditor can go in and look at the books and see, is Umass spending its money property?" Amore said. "Are all the state colleges and universities using the taxpayer funds efficiently and effectively? These are couple of anecdotes, but they are important anecdotes. It's well known that if you want to build a dorm at UMass Boston, it's going to cost dramatically more than it will 10 miles down the road at Salem State. I don't understand why that's the case. Why should that be the case? And I think the Auditor is in perfect position to look into this."

With legislation pending on Beacon Hill to allow undocumented residents an opportunity to obtain a driver's license, Amore thinks that the RMV is woefully unequipped to handle the new influx of license applicants. He is also concerned as to how the RMV would determine how applications would qualify under this proposed law. Amore believes it will be incumbent upon the next Auditor to step in and ensure that foreign documents submitted for these licenses have a thorough and efficient process for authentication.

"They never know what's coming in front of them every day," Amore said of RMV employees. "They deal with people from all over the world, they deal with language barriers. They deal with language barriers, and they have enforce these complicated rules often. Now you're going to say with all of the chaos that you can find at an RMV, you're going ask those people behind the counter to all of a sudden become experts in examining identity documents from a couple of hundred different nations. How could you add that size burden to their job and how could you expect it to go well?"

Amore also said that the Auditor's Office is failing to meet its statutory mandate to audit all of the 210 state agencies every three years. If elected, he would conduct an independent audit of the Auditor's Office to determine what factors are keeping the Auditor's Office from meeting its statutory burden.

We also discussed some history on the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and whether or not he thinks the Auditor has the statutory authority to audit the state legislature.

You can listen to the full interview at the 20:00 mark here:

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