JEFFERSON CITY - New information behind Missouri State Auditor Tom Schwiech's death is coming out one day after he committed suicide in his home.
Initial reports say Schweich died Thursday of a self inflicted gunshot to the head, just a month after he announced his campaign for governor.
According to multiple reports, shortly before he died, Schwiech called reporters to discuss a "whisper campaign" carried out by the newly elected chair of the Republican Party, John Hancock. According to a report from th St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Schweich called Dispatch reporter Tony Messenger just seven minutes before he fired the gun. Reports say Schweich believed Hancock told republican donors he was Jewish.
Hancock told the Associated Press: "I don't have a specific recollection of having said that, but it's plausible that I would have told somebody that Tom was Jewish because I thought he was, but I wouldn't have said it in a derogatory or demeaning fashion."
Schweich was not Jewish, but did have a strong Jewish heritage.
Schweich served as Missouri's state auditor since 2010, and was known as a political outsider, even within the Republican party. He started off his campaign by claiming his main political opposition, Cathrine Hanaway, was "bought and paid for" by Rex Sinquefield, a well-known donor who contributed $1 million to Hanaway's campaign.
This week a political PAC aired a commercial comparing Scweich to Barney Fife."