About the Montana Secretary of State
Incumbent Secretary of State Brad Johnson has often compared the office to a three-legged stool. The first leg is record keeping. Business filings, state administrative rules, and other valuable state documents are officially maintained by the Secretary of State. That makes the office very important to Montana’s small businesses, and others in our business community.
The Secretary of State also sits on the State Land Board, giving Brad an important voice in natural resource issues. The Land Board oversees the management of state lands, approving sales, timber harvesting, and other uses. Those issues are critically important to the State's economy. Funds earned by the management of state lands are then used to fund Montana’s education system. That fits well with Brad’s strong concern for civic education.
But perhaps the best known aspect of the Secretary of State’s job is that he’s also the chief elections officer for the State of Montana. Brad is truly passionate about the electoral process. He believes in the basic responsibility of every Montana citizen 18 years of age and older, at every opportunity, to cast a carefully considered and well-informed vote. Brad works to create incentives to vote, and to encourage all Montanans to embrace their responsibilities as citizens. He believes we all need to exercise this fundamental right that men and women in uniform are fighting all over the world to defend, and that the least we can do is to shoulder our responsibility as citizens when it comes to voting.
Brad often says, “Our government is never better than we demand it to be, nor worse than we allow it to be.”
Elections are closely tied to political parties in the minds of most Americans and Montanans. Those parties are very closely matched at this point in Montana history. But Brad believes that should not limit our determination to do the people’s work.
As he said in his opening remarks at the convening of the Montana House of Representatives on January 3, 2007, “I believe the people want us to work together. I don’t think that means we have to set aside our political beliefs. But I do think we will find it challenging. It’s a hard thing, to know when to stand firm and when to reach out. But that’s what the people want of us. They chose us all knowing what we believe, and what we hold dear, and they expect that we’ll stand by that. As well, they want to see us acknowledge the Montanan in all of our hearts, as well as the R, D – Or C! – behind our names."
|"We must conduct our mutual business in this hallowed Capitol of Montana with the utmost dignity and respect for one another. Let us always keep that in mind.”