New Mississippi Auditor Second Youngest Statewide Officeholder

By John Celock

Mississippi’s new state auditor is the second youngest person to hold a statewide office in the country.

Republican Shad White, 32, was appointed earlier this month by Gov. Phil Bryant (R) to fill the auditor’s job caused by the the resignation of Republican Stacey Pickering, who now heads the state veterans’ agency. White’s appointment lasts through the end of Pickering’s second term in January 2020.

White is a former policy director for Bryant in the lieutenant governor’s office and had served as the director of the Mississippi Justice Institute. A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Oxford University and Harvard Law School, White has also practiced law and served as a special prosecutor in the state.

White’s appointment makes him the second youngest person to hold a statewide office in the country after Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner (R), 30. LaTurner was appointed to fill a vacancy in the treasurer’s office last year by then Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and is currently seeking a full term in office.

While LaTurner and White are the youngest to hold statewide offices, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (R), 34, is currently the youngest person to serve as a statewide elective official in the country. Quarles was elected to the agriculture commissioner’s office in 2015 and is up for reelection next year.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway (D), 36, who was appointed to the job in 2015, is the youngest woman to hold statewide office in the country. Galloway is seeking a full term this year. Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball (R), 36, who was elected in 2015, is the nation’s youngest woman statewide elected official.

This year’s election has prompted multiple young candidates to seek statewide elective office, including three twenty-somethings, Democrat former state Rep. Kylie Oversen, who is running for North Dakota tax commissioner, Democrat state Rep. Aaron Regenburg, who is running for Rhode Island lieutenant governor and Republican Jonathan Gelbert, who is running for Arizona superintendent of public instruction.

Statewide Officeholders Under 40

Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner (R), 30, (Appointed to Fill Vacancy)
Mississippi Auditor Shad White (R), 32, (Appointed to Fill Vacancy)
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (R), 34
North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson (R), 34
North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger (R), 34
Rhode Island Treasurer Seth Magaziner (D), 35
Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway (D), 36, (Appointed to Fill Vacancy)
Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg (R), 35, (Appointed to Fill Vacancy)
North Dakota Tax Commissioner Jon Godfried (R), 35
West Virginia Auditor J.B. McCluskey (R), 35
Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball (R), 36
Washington Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib (D), 36
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), 38
North Dakota Auditor Josh Gallion (R), 38
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), 39
Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), 39