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(AUDIO): Missouri GOP treasurer describes immigrants as faith and family-oriented

(AUDIO): Missouri GOP treasurer describes immigrants as faith and family-oriented

Missouri Treasurer Vivek Malek poses with a supporter after being sworn into office in Jefferson City on January 17, 2023 (file photo courtesy of Missouri Governor Parson’s Flickr page)

The first minority statewide officeholder in Missouri history says half of his donors are first-time GOP donors and that 99 percent of his donors are individuals.

State treasurer Vivek Malek (R) delivered the keynote address at Monday evening’s Boone County Lincoln Days. Mr. Malek was born in India, and arrived in Missouri in 2001 with $300 in his pocket.

“I come from an immigrant background and I’ve helped a lot of immigrants during my 18 years of practice. And when I see them, whatever country or continent they’re coming from, I see the same similarities that I see in our conservative base,” Malek says.

Treasurer Malek describes immigrants as faith and family-oriented, adding that the GOP must do a better job of reaching out to them.

Missouri’s treasurer says his office currently holds $1.3 billion in unclaimed property. Treasurer Malek took the opportunity to encourage the 120-plus audience members at Lincoln Days to check his office’s website for unclaimed property.

“This is your money, that’s when I say I hate and love it. I hate it because I’m still having it, but I love it because I get to return it. Every time we talk about state government, it’s always talking about taking from people and whatever form in taxes and stuff. Here I’m sitting in an office here I like to give back whatever we have. So, this is one of the offices which does that,” Malek tells 939 the Eagle.

You can check to see if you have unclaimed property. Mr. Malek describes it as Missouri’s largest lost and found. His office returned more than $1.7 million in unclaimed property to Missouri taxpayers in his first three days in office. That’s a state record. The average return is about $300, according to Mr. Malek’s office.

The crowd also heard speeches Monday evening from Missouri gubernatorial candidates Jay Ashcroft, the secretary of state, and Army veteran Chris Wright of Joplin. Secretary Ashcroft criticized the actions of some librarians, saying they think they know better than parents. He also touted voter ID. Mr. Wright discussed the issue of human trafficking in Missouri and nationwide.

Secretary of state candidate Shane Schoeller, the Greene County clerk, attorney general candidate Will Scharf and former Columbia mayoral candidate Randy Minchew also spoke. Mr. Minchew tells the audience he’s seriously considering a bid for the Missouri Senate seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia). Rowden, who’s term-limited, leaves office in December 2024.

Former State Rep. Chuck Basye (R-Columbia) received an award from the Columbia and Boone County Pachyderms.