HARRISBURG (AP) -- Chet Beiler has never run for public office, but the Lancaster County businessman says the executive skills that helped him build a multimillion-dollar gazebo company also qualify him to be Pennsylvania's top fiscal watchdog.
Auditor General Jack Wagner, who served for 10 years on Pittsburgh's city council and spent another decade in the state Senate, wants voters to keep him on the job, monitoring how state government spends taxpayers' dollars.
Unseating the Democratic incumbent will be difficult for Beiler, a Republican who trails Wagner in fundraising and acknowledges that he is little known outside his home county. But he is optimistic his candidacy will appeal to voters who believe the auditor general needs private-sector skills to run the office efficiently.
"Every day, I have people telling me that they would like to see more business sense applied to how the government is run," said Beiler, who founded Amish Country Gazebos in 1989.
The race includes a Libertarian candidate, Betsy Summers.