Lowderman, Bremer square off in primary for treasurer

By: BEn BARTENSTEIN ben.bartenstein@gazette.com
June 12, 2014 Updated: June 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm
photo - Duncan Bremer, left, and Mark Lowderman.
Duncan Bremer, left, and Mark Lowderman. 

Two local political veterans will square off in a Republican primary for County Treasurer. The winner currently faces no Democrat opposition in the November general election.

Attorney Duncan Bremer, 70, is looking to make a return to local politics after serving as a County Commissioner from 1995 to 2003.

Bremer's challenger is Mark Lowderman, 56, who finishes up his second four-year term as County Assessor this year.

According to the candidates' June campaign finance reports, Bremer has received $31,893.50 in monetary contributions compared with Lowderman's $17,333.66.

Both candidates say increasing technological use in the Treasurer's Office is a priority.

"I think there are efficiencies to be gained," Lowderman said.

"The Treasurer's Office needs to move into the 21st century," Bremer said. "It's still operating on the old Mac system that was operating in 1995."

Lowderman said the first thing he would do if he took office is "open the door." He unveiled plans to create an opt-in county communication program, which would send e-mails to constituents in lieu of snail mail, and eliminate the deputy treasurer position in favor of employing an IT director. "The county budget is primarily people and postage," he said. "This would result in significant postage savings."

Bremer, who spent part of his time as county commissioner helping to overhaul the state's IT system, agreed. "There's poor integration right now," he said. "There's a lot of opportunity for technical errors."

If elected, Bremer said his first concern would be performing a risk management assessment. "A great deal of the county's cash flow comes from the federal government to the state government to the county level," he said. "It's not unlikely that over the course of the next treasurer's term we're going to have some major financial disruptions."

Both Lowderman and Bremer hold eight years of public service experience and have worked in the private sector. Lowderman previously owned Real Estate Appraisal for more than a decade, and Bremer currently works as a transactional attorney.

In his role as assessor, Lowderman said he helped streamline customer communication through online IT services. The new DotNet program is being used by the majority of county offices, although the treasurer's office has yet to make the conversion, he said.

Bremer believes that his background as an attorney strengthens his r?um?for dealing with the county's budget.

"Handling that requires trust," Bremer said. "We're writing checks on the future generation and the future generation isn't necessarily going to be able to pay them."

Mail ballots were sent out last week and all voter service centers will be open June 16-20. Polling closes on Primary Election Day - June 24.

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