Guest Post: Will Gardner Is the Right Man for Secretary of State


TOM STROMME/Tribune Will Gardner announced his candidacy for secretary of state at a press conference on Friday. Gardner plans to challenge incumbent Al Jaeger at the upcoming North Dakota Republican convention.

This is the right time, and Will Gardner is the right man to be our next Secretary of State.

Gardner is knowledgeable about how to solve the technical challenges of the office. He is also passionate about making our elections fair. These are his priorities, and we agree that they reflect the top issues facing the office in the next 4 years.

We believe Will has articulated these issues respectfully throughout his campaign. His decision to meet with our friend and long serving incumbent in person before running was the first example of that respect. His decision to accept the wishes of convention delegates is another example.

Will has experience in dealing with election issues. As the district 34 chairman in Mandan, he was involved in preparing for and monitoring the elections during the NoDAPL protests in 2016. He met with and listened to county auditors who were receiving legal threats from the camps. The 16,000 unverified ballots in that election since motivated him to raise awareness about the danger of affidavits during his campaign. From these experiences, we are confident that he will continue the pursuit for fair elections in the face of controversy.

In regards to technology, the Secretary of State’s duties of managing an enormous amount of information should not be understated. Over the last 10 years there has been between $5-$7 million dollars lost in cancelled software projects. Online business registration capabilities is 10-15 years overdue. Even if the office does finally deliver on this soon, there will continue to be a need for a leader with experience utilizing modern business practices. Staff will need guidance in administrating existing projects. Other projects will need updating, and new software projects will also continue to be built.

This is why, despite Al’s 26 years of service, we’re excited for a fresh perspective in the Secretary of State’s office.

This guest post was authored by:

– Rep Dan Ruby, District 38, Minot, ND

– Sen Janne Myrdal, District 10, Edinburg, ND

– John Trandem, District 45 Chair, Fargo, ND

– Rep Nathan Toman, District 34, Mandan, ND

– Rep Roscoe Streyle, District 3, Minot, ND