Tom Schweich

(Updated at 10:45 p.m. to reflect that confirmation  of the suicide occurred  on Tuesday, not Wednesday.)

Clayton police say they may never know why Tom Schweich killed himself in February.

The department confirmed Tuesday that Schweich, the state auditor and a Republican candidate for governor, shot himself in the head with a .22-caliber handgun on Feb. 26. His wife, Kathy, was the one to call 911.

Before shooting himself, Spence Jackson, spokesman for the Missouri auditor, tried to make clear why he was ending his life.

Wrote Spence in a note: "I'm so sorry; I just can't take being unemployed again.”

The note was dated "3-27-15" at the top.

His words were made public Tuesday by Jefferson City police Capt. Doug Shoemaker, who disclosed the preliminary results of the probe into Jackson’s apparent suicide.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Filling Tom Schweich’s void in the state auditor’s office may be one of the most important decisions of Gov. Jay Nixon’s tenure. He’ll have to pick somebody who can perform the tasks of an important office – and contend with the rigors of maneuvering through statewide politics.

As chief executive of the state, Nixon has filled lots and lots of vacancies – everything from an opening for Howard County surveyor to slots on the Missouri Supreme Court. This time, the pressure is on: Some want Nixon to select an African-American for the job, which would bring the state to a weighty milestone 194 years in the making. And others feel Nixon, a Democrat, should take the unlikely step of appointing a Republican to the post.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth spoke at the funeral Tuesday for state Auditor Thomas A. Schweich, who committed suicide in his St. Louis area home last week. In his emotional eulogy, Danforth called for a change in the current political climate, which he referred to as ugly, and "a low point."

For the entire text of Danforth's eulogy, click here.

Kansas City knew Tom Schweich as a dogged state auditor who rooted out financial mismanagement on behalf of Missouri taxpayers. He died unexpectedly yesterday, by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, just weeks after entering the race for Missouri governor. We remember Schweich personally, professionally and politically.

Guests:

(Updated 5:10 p.m.)

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, shocking the state’s political world and throwing turmoil into the state’s 2016 contest for governor.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

On the second day of his gubernatorial campaign, Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich continued swinging at well-financed Republican primary opponent Catherine Hanaway.

"I'm very concerned about one billionaire in St. Louis who seems to be intent on not only buying the governor's mansion, funding over 70 percent of the campaign of my primary opponent, but also trying to buy certain legislators," Schweich said during a stop in Kansas City Thursday.

A new audit released Tuesday finds that some welfare recipients in Missouri have used their benefits to buy things besides food and other daily necessities, while others may have moved away but continue to get in-state benefits.

A state audit released Tuesday finds that local governments and school districts in Missouri have cost themselves $43 million by not allowing competition for underwriting public bonds.

Republican State Auditor Tom Schweich cites the practice of negotiated bond sales, in which an underwriter is hired in advance and sometimes acts as a financial advisor to the local government that issues the bond.

An audit released Monday finds that the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) broke state law with its now-defunct policy of scanning documents of driver's license and conceal-carry applicants.

A group of educators is suing the state of Missouri over a proposed constitutional amendment requiring tenure for public school teachers be based on performance, not seniority.

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich released a harsh audit of the Missouri Governor’s office on Wednesday. The findings accuse the governor of overspending his appropriation by $1.7 million.

Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the State Auditor’s authority to prepare fiscal notes and summaries for citizen-initiated ballot questions. 

Advocates are calling for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to restore funding for early childhood programs now that the state has received its tobacco money.  That and more news from KCUR.

Kansas falls to Kentucky in NCAA Championship, ballot lists few candidates for the board of Kansas City Public Schools, deadly bat disease found in Missouri, and more news from KCUR.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR:

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  • Judge Won’t Dismiss Missouri Auditor’s Lawsuit Against Nixon
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