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Secretary of state: Granum

His corporate experienceand enthusiasm tip the balance

Republican voters will choose between a three-term legislator and a corporate attorney to take on Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in November. We recommend Fred Granum, the attorney.

Granum and his opponent, Rep. Betsy Close, R-Albany, list the same criticisms of Bradbury's performance and promise the same changes if they defeat him.

Both say Bradbury injected partisanship into redrawing legislative district boundaries after the 2000 Census. They accuse him of being too soft on state agencies by not making better use of the auditing functions of his office.

Both charge that Bradbury is working to undermine the initiative process by pushing for new restrictions on signature gathering, and both criticize him for moving too slowly to create statewide voter registration.

Granum impresses us with his enthusiasm for the auditing function in particular, and with his lengthy experience with complex financial issues. In his business career, he has worked on several major corporate restructuring and reorganization projects.

He says he wants to use audits of state agencies to help restore public confidence in government by showing voters how their money is spent. That may be a lofty goal, but it's the kind of positive approach that might actually get results.

— Close,too, pledges more aggressive audits, but she lacks Granum's professional experience. A former teacher, she is known in the Legislature as a strong social conservative.

Granum says he would bring a nonpartisan approach to the Secretary of State's office. Close argues that, with no public voting record, Granum can say anything about what he would do.

That's true, but Close's record is distinctly partisan.

Granum is no liberal, and his campaign literature portrays conservative philosophies about taxes and government. But we think he offers a fresh voice and will be a worthy challenger to Bradbury in November in a race that promises to give voters a clear choice.