Editorial: No doubt Johnson and Schuette are best
Published: Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Political races that offer two well-qualified candidates for one position are a bonus for voters.
But they often make it difficult for newspapers to pick whom it considers the best. Usually, the candidate endorsed has a slight edge in some category.
However, once in a while a race has a candidate who is head and shoulders above his or her opponent.
That is the case in both the battle for Michigan Secretary of State and Michigan Attorney General.
With all due respect to their Democratic opponents, who have strong credentials, Republicans Ruth Johnson and Bill Schuette are the obvious choices in these two races.
We’re particularly impressed with Johnson, of Holly, whose experience and knowledge is far superior to her Democratic opponent, Jocelyn Benson of Detroit.
But what is even more important about Johnson is that she is not a politician merely seeking another elected position.
Johnson is the epitome of a public servant who works hard for the benefit of the general public. She is honest, focused and efficient. As Oakland County Clerk she has been an outstanding administrator, running that department proficiently and effectively.
Her work ethic and values are beyond reproach. Other politicians should follow her example.
Benson is a bright, young and charming attorney who no doubt has a stellar future in politics and as an attorney. She teaches election law at Wayne State University and has written a book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws.
But in this race, Johnson shines.
Johnson has served as county clerk since 2004 and, previous to that, was in the state House of Representatives for two terms.
She was elected to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners in 1988 and served five terms, including six years as vice chairperson.
One of her many accomplishments was to lead investigations into the misappropriation of funds at the Oakland County Intermediate School District. The probe resulted in criminal charges against then superintendent James Redmond.
Schuette, of Midland, is also very well experienced and qualified to serve as attorney general.
He has an extensive and varied resume that includes a stint as a congressman during the Reagan administration. Schuette was elected in 1984.
In 1991 Gov. John Engler appointed him director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Then in 1994, Schuette was elected to the Michigan Senate. Beginning in 2002, Schuette served for six years on the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Leyton, of Flint, also has a distinguished career. He has been an attorney for 26 years. In November 2008, Leyton was re-elected to his second four-year term as Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney. Prior to that, he served 12 years on the Flint Township Board of Trustees and previously was a clerk.
To repeat: Pick Johnson for Michigan Secretary of State and Schuette for Michigan Attorney General.