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Endorsement: Warner should be secretary of state

From The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

West Virginia’s secretary of state has two big jobs: overseeing clean elections, and serving businesses without getting in their way. Mac Warner has the experience and skill to do both.

Warner has solid plans to make the election process more accessible and secure, and to make it easier to create jobs in our state.

Those plans start with seeking a partnership with county clerks, rather than working around them, as his opponent has done. In fact, incumbent Natalie Tennant so angered the West Virginia County Clerks’ Association with her recent postcard campaign that the association’s president sent her a letter:

“We are no longer collaborating; we are blindsided,” Susan Thomas wrote, in a letter that concluded, “We would both save a lot of time if County Clerks were included before actions were taken rather than afterwards.” It should be noted that Thomas, who is clerk in Harrison County, is a Democrat, like Tennant.

No wonder the clerks were upset. Many of Tennant’s voter registration cards went to dead people and voters already registered.

But Tennant has never been comfortable in the secretary of state’s office. She has spent much of her time running for other offices, ranging from governor to U.S. Senate.

During her failed campaign for the Senate in 2014, Tennant threw aside her own election rules with a stunt on the steps of the Kanawha County Courthouse, talking to voters all the way up to the door of a polling place. State law says candidates must stay 300 feet away from polling places.

Meanwhile, Warner was serving the U.S. State Department as a contractor in Afghanistan, working to eliminate corruption as that nation built its new government. His efforts included mentoring top Afghan government officials, while promoting citizen engagement.

Warner was involved in similar work in several other countries in eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That came after the West Point graduate spent 23 years in the Army — passing on his patriotic dedication to his children. All four are officers in the military.

Warner knows how to make government work for the people it serves. He understands it will take hard work to restore the faith of many people in government.

Tennant is out of touch with West Virginians — to the point she still supports Hillary Clinton’s campaign to extend Barack Obama’s agenda.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel endorses Mac Warner for secretary of state. West Virginians need someone in the post who is dedicated to serving us.

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