OTHER VOICES: Gant right to leave office

Farm Forum

It has been a rocky few years in Pierre for Secretary of State Jason Gant.

In unprecedented fashion, he has immersed himself and the office in a variety of political tangles, frequently stretching the ethical boundaries of this traditionally nonpartisan state office.

His decision to not seek a second term is the right one for our state.

Whether Gant’s actions were intentional or simply miscalculations, his propensity to teeter on the ethical boundaries of public service resulted in a steady deterioration of the public’s trust and confidence in this important constitutional job.

South Dakotans are accustomed to nonpartisan Secretaries of State. These individuals avoided political positioning and worked to ensure the integrity of the election process in the state while handling the other public duties of the office with efficiency and transparency.

Voters will want to select a candidate who will return to that professional model. Undoubtedly, we will see several new candidates emerge, both Democrat and Republican. We will have the opportunity to question them and to determine who is best to serve before deciding in November 2014.

The new secretary of state will take office, facing the challenge and the opportunity to restore public trust in the position.

Impartiality, professionalism and ethical restraint will be the first and most important assignments for our new Secretary of State.

— Sioux Falls Argus Leader