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November 18, 2008 06:48 PM UTC

Secretary of State - Who & Why?

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  • by: RockyMtnModerate

The applications are in and we don’t have any other races to debate so what are everybody’s thoughts on the candidates for Secretary of State?  There looks to be a strong field of the usual suspects and mostly who was widely expected to apply.  Each has their strong points and the people will be better served by almost any of these. I would like to have seen some names in there whose primary qualification is something other than being elected or appointed to other political office even if just to hear some ideas from somebody outside the political world. With politicians coming in with their own agenda, it would be nice to see somebody with no agenda at all. Maybe an elections law attorney or somebody from the business or tech world with experience managing a large staff or an understanding of the technical issues of processing and managing large amounts of data.  

What do you think are the most important considerations?  Should the decision be purely about how they will function as Secretary of State?  Should consideration be given to the likelihood of getting re-elected?  Should party politics be considered and who is likely to leap to higher office by serving as SoS and then running for Governor or Senator?  Most of the discussion on here has been about the elections side of the office but how important are somebody’s qualifications and experience in the other areas?

Anybody know who else other than those listed below is in the running?

My quick thoughts on those we know about:

Andrew Romanoff: I think would probably do the best in the job.  I think his strongest skills are managing organizations, getting people to work together to improve things and I think would be above reproach in his handling of the office.  Unlike many on here, I think he’s far too left to win a statewide race so his re-election would be a struggle if the Republicans run a moderate and reasonable candidate particularly if his managing of the SAFE campaign says anything about the campaign he would run.  I think Romanoff is a great leader, a brilliant policy guy but I’d really like to see him get some experience outside of government or in D.C. in another area so he can come back and run for Senator with something on his resume besides being elected to other offices.

Ken Gordon: No question Gordon is committed to election reform and campaign finance reform.  I think Gordon would shake things up but I also think he’s way too partisan and doesn’t exactly have a reputation for playing well with others.  I’d guess he wants to make changes that need to be handled by the legislature and would be inclined to overstep his role of enacting and enforcing instead of making new rules.  Gordon’s political future is close to non-existent so if the party wants to park somebody at SoS while they decide who to run next, he might be a good place-holder and his inclination to rock the boat might get some productive things done but I think overall not the best pick.

Bernie Beuscher:  Does Bernie have a passion or interest in this job or did he decide to go for it because there was nothing else on the horizon?  Solid leader and representative of his state district and probably a plus that he is the only candidate not from Denver.  He’s a likable guy who is known for working well with a lot of different groups and people so he would probably be the most non-partisan of the candidates.  He did lose narrowly in his state race so I’m not sure what that says about his chances of holding the office in two years, but might shine when on a broader platform.  

Rosemary Rodriguez:  Have to love her experience working directly on elections and Markey showed that Salazar knows how to mentor and pick up-comers that can win.  Don’t know how much her experience on city council brings to the table other than budgeting as there wasn’t much there related to managing a staff or implementing new systems.  She comes across as intelligent and not overly partisan with a clear passion for an effective election system.  Doesn’t hurt with the growing Hispanic population in Colorado to have a Latina on the ballot when it comes time to run for re-election.

Dan Willis:  Dan, can we trust that now that Romanoff is in you will be withdrawing your application.  Seriously though, hats off for jumping into the game and for your other work for the party but if we’re looking for somebody who is not overly partisan and stands a snowball’s chance of re-election, I’m going to look at Rosemary or Bernie.  Maybe you should make a run for state house or city council?

Aaron Harber:  Most unexpected name in there which is eclipsed only by the unexpected names supposedly backing him.  I don’t know anything about his previous runs so I’d be curious to hear what people have to say about those.  Probably the least partisan of the candidates.  I’m not familiar with his background to know if there is anything he’s done that gives some weight to him being an effective manager of people and systems or what his experience is.

Who should the Governor appoint to Secretary of State?

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