Courtesy photo West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue announces that he will seek an unprecedented seventh term as State Treasurer on the State Capitol steps in Charleston on Monday, July 8, 2019.

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON - West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue on Monday announced that he would seek an unprecedented seventh term as state treasurer.

First elected to the post in 1996, Perdue, 69, is West Virginia's 24th state treasurer and has served in that position for over 22 years. Perdue, a Democrat, made his announcement on the steps of the state Capitol in Charleston.

"When I was first elected, the treasurer's office was fragmented, fragile and mismanaged," Perdue said. "But, we've worked hard to introduce innovative programs, re-establish financial integrity, and to obtain the best bond rating the Treasurer's office has ever received."

Over the past 40 years, Perdue has worked for the Department of Agriculture, the Governor's office under the Caperton administration and the State Treasurer's office for over two decades.

Perdue is credited with establishing the SMART529 College Savings Program and for returning over $205 million in unclaimed property to the people of West Virginia. SMART529 currently has $2.5 billion in investments and has been rated as one of the top 529 plans in the country.

The treasurer recently established WVABLE, providing a tax-free savings program for disability-related expenses that allows qualified individuals to save and invest without losing federal needs-based benefits, as well as the WV Retirement Plus 457 Program, which allows state employees to supplement their state retirement program.

"Over the past 40 years, I've never forgotten that being a public servant means that I work for the people of West Virginia," he said.

Republican candidate Riley Moore, 39, of Jefferson County, reacted to Perdue's announcement Monday morning.

"I welcome John Perdue to the race, and I anticipate a spirited discussion over the need for change in West Virginia. Our state deserves a State Treasurer's office that is modern, efficient and transparent," said Moore, a former state delegate. "I look forward to sharing my message of Principles over Politics with every voter in the state."

Perdue is a 1972 graduate of West Virginia University and a native of Boone County. He and his wife, Robin, have two adult daughters.