COLUMBUS — Taylor Royal believes his financial background dovetails nicely with the responsibilities of the job he is seeking as a Republican candidate for state treasurer.
The 27-year-old financial adviser from Omaha points to his accounting and financial skills as the foundation for performing the office’s most vital job of managing, investing and protecting the state’s tax dollars.
“My direct background and experiences would make me a positive steward of the state resources,” said Royal, a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an accounting and finance degree.
The Omaha man, now an adviser with Northwestern Mutual, made a campaign stop Thursday in Columbus.
“I’d put my experiences up against anybody in the race,” Royal said.
Royal is running in next year’s Republican primary against state Sen. John Murante of Gretna, who entered the race with the endorsement of Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Current State Treasurer Don Stenberg will be term-limited out of office when he completes his second four-year term at the end of next year. The same is true for Murante, who will finish his second four-year term in the Legislature in 2018.
Royal, who splits his time between working with Northwestern clients and campaigning throughout the state, is also emphasizing the treasurer’s responsibility as a trustee of Nebraska’s 529 savings plans.
Royal said he would work with the Nebraska Investment Council to ensure the state has one of the country’s best “tax-advantaged” plans.
The 529 plans, also known as NEST, allow people to save for college education.
Royal, who has visited communities from Scottsbluff to Norfolk in his Jeep Wrangler, also is looking to boost the financial literacy of coming generations.
He advocates for high school curriculum that teaches students sound financial principles, such as budgeting, saving and investing, for their future success.
The conservative candidate said he wants high schoolers to learn financial literacy, including how to apply for credit cards and loans and how to buy insurance, before they are “smacked in the face after graduation.”
Royal said he wants to be an “advocate” at the Capitol for all Nebraskans, especially in the area of tax relief.
Some of the duties of the state treasurer include: receipting all money from state government from taxes to tuition; returning money, stocks, bonds, dividends, utility deposits, vendor payments, gift certificates and insurance proceeds to the rightful owners; serving as trustee of the Nebraska College Savings Program; and centralizing receipting and disbursing of child support and related court-ordered payments.
The salary for the position is $85,000 a year.