Toryanski rebuttal: Experience, familiarity are keys in Idaho secretary of state's race

May 5, 2014 

The secretary of state's race pits four candidates against each other in the Republican primary. Why should you pick me over the other three? Because you know what you are going to get: integrity, leadership and experience.

As a local prosecutor starting in 1996, I established strong connections to our community and gained valuable experience. As an Idaho deputy attorney general, I handled a multitude of complex legal issues, especially in the area of elections and voting. I also specialized in the Idaho Open Meetings Law, Public Records Law, Ethics in Government Laws and the Recording statutes. My legal analysis and advice won many a court case. At the Idaho Supreme Court, I defended the right of citizens to inspect government records. My clients included all members of the Idaho Legislature.

I am proud to have served legislators from both parties equally, and I vow to provide that same fairness and quality of service as your next secretary of state.

Freda Cenarrusa, whose husband, Pete Cenarrusa, served as Idaho's secretary of state for 35 years, appreciates my values and record of service. That's why she stepped in early to serve as my campaign chairman. Additionally, I have the support of many legislative leaders throughout the state who collectively represent hundreds of thousands of Idaho citizens.

Supporters include Sens. Bair, Brackett Hagedorn, Heider, Johnson, McKague, McKenzie, Patrick, Rice, Siddoway and Winder; Reps. Hartgen and Smith; businessman Dar Symms; and many more.

Early in my life, I worked hard in school to win an appointment to West Point, our nation's premier leader-development institution. Throughout my 30 years of military service, I was consistently promoted and recognized for providing strong leadership, as I worked my way up the ranks to become a colonel of infantry in the U.S. Army and Idaho National Guard. I am a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and a member of the American Legion.

My standing as a veteran connects me to the other 130,000 veterans in Idaho who have given meaningful service to our country. Along the way, I earned a master's degree in strategic studies and a juris doctorate in law. My parents never had the opportunity to earn a college degree, and it was the focus of their life to see that I was well-educated.

That is my background, but what of the other three candidates? The former speaker and the candidate from Pocatello have years of public service, and their reputations are known. In contrast, candidate Phil McGrane is a relative unknown. Most people never heard of him until he started running for statewide political office just a few months ago. He claims to be all about voting. But the truth is, 2012 is the only year that he has voted in Idaho. Additionally, he is still in his first job out of law school, and his professional experience is very limited.

As for my record, I have years of service to Idaho and to our country. As a state senator, I have put myself before the voters four times, winning three of four elections, including primaries. This is the fifth time that I have gone before the voters. Being vetted is important because it is openness in action. Safeguarding openness in government and maintaining accountability is what the secretary of state's job is all about. Protecting our freedoms has been the focus of my professional life and is what I will continue to do as your next secretary of state.

Toryanski is a GOP primary candidate for Idaho secretary of state.

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