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The worst idea: Weaponizing the Secretary of State

March 15. 2018 12:52PM

For the past 42 years, two things have protected the integrity of the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office.

The first is a layer of insulation by electing the state’s top election official indirectly, by the Legislature. The second is Bill Gardner.

Gardner is perhaps the most respected election official in the country, and has saved New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary more times than we can count.

Yet some Democrats want to throw this lifelong Democrat out of office because he hasn’t joined them in opposing necessary reforms to New Hampshire election laws.

Colin Van Ostern came to New Hampshire to further his political career, and remains a political opportunist. He is mounting a campaign against Gardner, hoping that Democrats will pick him should they retake the Legislature in November.

This is a direct assault of New Hampshire’s political norms, and threatens to undermine the respect Gardner has built up over the decades. Running a statewide campaign for Secretary of State is the worst idea we’ve heard this year.

The Secretary of State’s office is not a political trophy, and should not be a vehicle for Van Ostern’s naked political ambition.

State Government Editorial

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