Aberdeen blogger Ken Santema declares current Secretary of State Jason Gant unfit for service. He says Gant has demonstrated an inability to carry out two primary responsibilities of his office, chief elections officer and top notary public. He notes that Secretary Gant's incompetence and corruption is making South Dakota look bad around the country:
I was attending an online web-conference learning about e-notarizing earlier this year. After I said my name and the State I came from one of the attendees made this remark: “Oh, you come from the place where the Secretary of State doesn’t understand notary ethics.” Even people outside the state believe Gant is wrong for the job [Ken Santema, "South Dakota Secretary of State Gant Has Made the Case to Replace Him," SoDakLiberty, 2013.09.05].
Santema then declares himself the best man to replace Gant and says he's considering running for Secretary of State in 2014:
I am currently considering a run at SOS myself. However I must look at my financial situation in the next year first. I believe I am the best candidate and will go for the win if I do choose to enter the race. If I do not run I will seek and support a suitable replacement for Gant [Santema, 2013.09.05].
Your local dog catcher's idiot stepson can do the Secretary of State's job better than Gant. I will nonetheless enjoy scrutinizing Santema's résumé to see him back his claim to be the best candidate for the job.
But to whom will Santema apply? Santema has said he is a registered Libertarian, which would make getting on the ballot really easy. He just goes down to the bar in Vermillion next summer, says he'd like to be on the ballot for Secretary of State, gets a half dozen people to say "Aye!" between beers, and he's set!
That'll be easier than trying to get the Republican nomination: if the SDGOP can work up the courage to admit they picked a terrible Secretary of State last time, they'll insist on a known, safe choice (one whisperer tells me the fix is in for Senator Shantel Krebs, R-10/Renner, who is smarter than Gant and more telegenic than Gant and Santema combined—now there's a horrible transporter malfunction to contemplate).
There's the real financial question for Santema: would he have the money to run against any Republican candidate? The Libertarians won't have any cash for him. They had nothing for Russell Clarke, their PUC candidate in 2012, who actually terminated his candidacy with zero contributions two weeks before the election. Their last official report shows $434 on hand.
So given that a little cash and organization is better than none, here's a devil's question for Ken: if Dems can't field a candidate, would you, Mr. Santema, be willing to come to the Democratic convention in 2014 and seek our nomination for Secretary of State? We have common cause here: integrity in protection of the public trust. Can we help each other in that cause?