McGrane launches Secretary of State’s campaign at CDA


HEART OF ALENE – Phil McGrane wants to be Idaho’s next Secretary of State.

As Ada County Clerk, McGrane understands the importance of the person overseeing the election.

“How many of us knew Georgia had a secretary of state a year ago? He asked rhetorically, responding that by saying “an exclamation mark has been put on the importance of the post” by what happened in Georgia after Donald Trump lost the key state in amid unproven allegations of widespread electoral fraud.

Not that Idaho has been embroiled in such controversies.

“Basically, I think we have a good system,” said McGrane, on a visit to the Press editorial board on Friday. “Some people think there is widespread fraud and others think there is no fraud. I can tell you that neither is true. “

He said that in his investigation some fraud is detectable, but nothing that could affect the election results.

“There are a lot of safeguards in place that a lot of people don’t know exist,” he said.

He also said the “bad actors” are not necessarily to blame when things go wrong in an election.

“One of the biggest vulnerabilities… is the competence of the people who organize the elections,” he said.

McGrane gained some fame last year when, amid the pandemic, he rallied county clerks across the state to push for a special legislative session. As a result of that session, legislation was passed to help “Idaho run an unprecedented election we can all be proud of,” he said.

McGrane, 40, visited residents of northern Idaho this week as part of a first launch of his campaign. This is his first official foray into an election campaign that may not end until November 2022.

So far on the Republican side of the ledger, McGrane, Senator Mary Souza de Coeur d’Alene and current Assistant Secretary of State Chad Houck have declared their nominations.

“I describe myself as an election junkie,” McGrane said, noting that his passion for elections began in 2005 by counting punch cards and recruiting election officials. “Since then, I have served as a US Election Lawyer. Assistance Commission and have been involved in all aspects of the organization of the elections in Ada County.

A fourth-generation Idahoan with a law degree from the University of Denver, McGrane wants to make sure Idaho’s election laws are upheld and, perhaps in the near future, enforced. One area of ​​interest is the campaign finance law.

“We need to make it easier to monitor and enforce these laws,” he said.

To that end, McGrane participated in a joint interim legislative committee on campaign finance reform that helped develop a centralized database. The information of all applicants who raise or spend more than $ 500 will be available for anyone to review.

“The goal is the sun – to shed light,” McGrane said. “The public just wants to know what’s going on, whether it’s Mike Bloomberg giving the money or Brent Regan.”

Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee and chairman of the board of directors of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Under McGrane’s leadership, the Ada County Clerk’s office, with 198 employees, was named one of the 10 Best Places to Work in Idaho for the three years it was in charge. It is the only government office in the state to be so honored.

McGrane and his wife, Angella, have three children and reside in Hidden Springs, outside of Boise.


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