Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced today that he won’t run for another term as the state’s top election official and almost immediately, other politicians have targeted the job.
Be forewarned, politicians: It’s a lousy springboard to anything else, history says.
In fact, its stunning that since 1900, there have been only 10 secretaries of state in Minnesota. It’s not a job that features a great deal of turnover.
It’s not that others haven’t tried to springboard to something else, though. Joan Growe, who served in the job the second-longest of any person, challenged then incumbent Sen. Rudy Boschwitz in 1984 and lost.
Her predecessor, Arlen Erdahl, jumped from secretary of state to the U.S. Congress in 1979, where he served two terms representing the First District.
Julius A. Schmahl stepped down from the office to become the state treasurer in 1921, a position Minnesota voters abolished a few years ago.
And that’s it for jumping from secretary of state to anything grander.
It’s true, Mary Kiffmeyer went from secretary of state to the House of Representatives. and then to the Minnesota Senate. But given the number of people who’ve gone from the House to the secretary of state’s job, that might be considered a step down. Kiffmeyer’s name, however, has surfaced as a potential candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in the 6th District.