Let’s All Be Glad This Is Al Jaeger’s Last Term

North Dakota Secretary of State, Al Jaeger, leaves the podium after his speech seeking the Republican nomination for the office he's held since 1993. Jaeger lost the nomination to Will Gardner at the party's convention earlier this year. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service

Secretary of State Al Jaeger survived what was a roller coaster election and will continue in the office he’s held since the early 1990’s for four more years.

He’s now saying this will definitely be his last term. “I feel so blessed,” he told Patrick Springer. “This will be my last term,” he added.

Jaeger got just over 47 percent of the vote (see below). His opponent, Democrat Josh Bosche, but just under 40 percent with independent candidate Michael Coachman soaking up another 13 percent (thanks in no small part to Democrats promoting his campaign).

His last term probably should have been his last term, if not the one before that. The glitches and problems coming out of the Secretary of State’s office, while never reaching the catastrophic levels, are still piling up.

On election night there was mass confusion as North Dakotans tried to watch the live results come in on the state’s official website only to see nothing for a good chunk of the night. Even as independent news outlets like the New York Times reported results, the Secretary of State website was blank.

And then it crashed for a while.

Again, not a catastrophe, but yet another frustrating moment coming from the Secretary of State’s office from Jaeger. I’m glad Boschee didn’t win the election, for the reasons I explained here, but that doesn’t mean I’m entirely comfortable with Jaeger continuing on the job either.

I hope that Jaeger can iron out some of these nagging bugs in his office. I hope he can work to make his office more business-friendly. But if he doesn’t, at least we know someone else will finally get a shot next cycle.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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