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Treasurer has held post a record 20 years

CHARLESTON – StateTreasurer John Perdue cemented his stature as one of West Virginia’slongest-serving constitutional officers Monday, taking the oath for asixth term.

Perdue, 66, is thelongest-serving State Treasurer in West Virginia history, besting thenext closest in tenure, R.E. Talbot (D-Barbour), who served from 1932 to1950. Perdue was first inaugurated in January 1997. No other Treasurerhas served more than Perdue’s 20 years, even with interrupted termscombined. 

“The good Lord hasblessed me to serve my state not only in this capacity, but in a careerthat dates to 1973,” Perdue said. “Along the way I learned at the feetof Gus Douglass in the Department of Agriculture and was able to helpturn the state around in the 1980s as an executive assistant to Gov.Gaston Caperton.

“It’s been a memorableand exciting ride, one I wouldn’t trade for anything. And it’s not over,by any stretch of the imagination. I and my staff have plenty moregoals to meet.”

The Treasurer has beenactive nationally in the past but it is closer to home and more recentlythat Perdue has perhaps made his biggest mark. Beginning with a 2012lawsuit, the Treasurer gained both legal and legislative victories bytaking on life insurance companies which had balked at paying out policybenefits.

The Treasurer appealed a circuitjudge decision on the matter to the State Supreme Court. The high courtruled in 2015 that a circuit judge should have asked insurancecompanies to use Social Security’s Death Master File in determiningwhether a policy was due to be paid.

In many cases, deceased policy holders’ heirs were neither being paidbenefits nor were the assets turned over to the Treasury as unclaimedproperty. A bill passed in the 2016 legislative session commandedcompanies to use the Social Security records in paying benefits. Suchfirms are now ordered to surrender assets to the State Treasury if therightful owner can’t be found.

Once suchinsurance assets are reported, Perdue’s office can go about the task offinding rightful owners and returning the money. West Virginia hasreturned more than $160 million in unclaimed funds of all types underPerdue’s administration, including $13.9 million last fiscal year.  

TheTreasurer has served as both president of the National Association ofState Treasurers and the National Association of Unclaimed PropertyAdministrators. He is the only West Virginian to hold both posts.

Inthe national capacities, he has led a fight to allow state treasuriesto return federal savings bonds as unclaimed property, a quest thatcontinues today. He has also battled on behalf of gift card purchasers,contending that expiration dates and diminished card balances areunfair.

Additionally,Treasurer Perdue established West Virginia’s SMART529 College SavingsPlan, which helps children and their families save for higher education.His NetWorth financial education program is nationally recognized,winning the 2009 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education Award.

Perduehelped develop the Board of Treasury Investments, which he oversees asChairman. The BTI’s two money market pools continue to maintain Standardand Poor’s prestigious AAAm rating. Additionally, he manages thesuccessful Retirement Plus savings program for public employees, whichhas tripled participation since he took over the plan.

TreasurerPerdue is a 1972 graduate of West Virginia University. He and his wifeRobin live in Kanawha County. They have two adult daughters, Jessica andEmily.

Treasurer Perdue, accompanied by wife Robin, is sworn in for an historic sixth term by State Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry.
Photo provided courtesy of the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498
Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm (ET)

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