Montana Public Radio is gathering information on all statewide primary candidates to publish as a resource for our audience. We asked all the statewide candidates to respond to the following questions via email, limiting their answers to 300 words per question. These are their unedited responses.
Secretary of State candidate Brad Johnson:
In response to the list of questions below from Montana Public Radio, Johnson responded with the following statement, which appears unedited.
Why are you running for this particular public office?
What makes you qualified to hold this position?
What are three policy issues that distinguish you from your opponent(s)?
What are the greatest issues facing Montana that have gone unsolved by elected officials and how would you address them?
What is your full name as it will appear on ballots?
What is your age?
69 years old
Where do you live?
East Helena, MT
What is your education background?
B.S.(1974) and M.S.(1976) in Animal Science from the University of Illinois
Chairman, Montana Public Service Commission 2015 to date
My interest in and commitment to the office of Secretary of State is long standing. My experience as former Secretary of State and my proven electability make me an exceptionally strong candidate.
As your Secretary of State, I streamlined and modernized the office in order to make it easier for Montana businesses to start up and grow in all 56 counties. As a member of the State Land Board I was a staunch supporter of policies which enhanced opportunities for agricultural production and responsible natural resource development on state lands. In addition, I worked hard to improve access to public lands while, at the same time, protecting the rights of private land owners. To be sure, those were important accomplishments. However, let there be no mistake, the most important responsibility the Secretary of State has is to preserve the integrity of Montana's elections.
In my first term I led the fight to get legislation passed and signed that requires the use of paper ballots (the gold standard for ballot security) in all Montana elections. I oversaw the development of our first state-wide voter registration database and led Montana to be one of the first states in the country to be certified as fully compliant with the Help America Vote Act.
There is an all-time high level of out-of-state and foreign influence being directed at our elections. And the Democrat Party is attempting to fundamentally change our voting and voter registration practices. It is paramount that Montanans have an elections system in place that they can have faith in - one that is fair, free, and secure. In my second term as Secretary of State I will continue to work tirelessly to repeal election day voter registration, further enhance security of our mail-in ballots and work for legislation that will require government issued photo I.D. in order to vote at the polls on election day.
Safeguarding our elections and preserving the confidence that Montanans have in their outcome is too important a task to leave to someone that will need on the job training. Having served as Secretary of State has prepared me to hit the ground running. I will be ready on day one to do those things necessary to preserve the integrity of our most cherished Constitutional right.
It was the greatest privilege and honor of my life to have served as your Secretary of State and it is my greatest hope that the people of Montana will grant me that opportunity once more.