State Politics

Boise businessman joins race for Idaho treasurer

Idaho GOP treasurer candidate Tom Kealey of Boise.
Idaho GOP treasurer candidate Tom Kealey of Boise.

Boise businessman Tom Kealey announced Thursday that he’ll run for the open state treasurer post in 2018.

Kealey is the third Republican to enter the race for the seat. Longtime Treasurer Ron Crane is retiring.

Already in the race for the treasurer post are Ada County Treasurer Vicky McIntyre, who filed two weeks ago; and Kevin Jones, who founded a Boise investment firm, and filed for the office last winter.

Kealey owns the Chicago Connection Restaurant Group with his wife, Joy. The restaurant group operates seven Treasure Valley restaurants. Kealey, a CPA with an MBA from Harvard and an accounting and finance degree from the University of Washington, recently retired after serving more than 14 years on the Idaho Endowment Fund Investment Board.

“As a businessman, accountant and lifelong Republican, I care deeply about the financial solvency of our government,” Kealey said. “As state treasurer, I will work to make sound investments, secure strong credit ratings and provide a transparent decision-making process that’s open to Idahoans.”

Kealey’s announcement comes just days after an Idaho Statesman article saying Crane, who has been state treasurer since 1998, paid at least $5 million more than was needed for borrowing costs for the state’s short-term debt and is refusing to allow two state oversight boards he chairs to review his practices.

Kealey’s campaign treasurer is former state representative and former director of the Idaho Department of Insurance Bill Deal. Deal said in a statement, “I know Tom to be a professional and well-educated businessman who has the judgment to make wise investment decisions. He is someone who will bring conservative values, accountability and common sense to the office of state treasurer.”