This past June, a group of interested voters gathered in Epping to hear Secretary of State Bill Gardner give a fascinating presentation on the history of NH elections. While expecting a 20-minute overview, we were treated instead to an hour-long deep dive into both meaningful election statistics and to mesmerizing stories about the personalities that over the years have shaped and affected our election landscape.

Bill Gardner reveled in this event. His encyclopedic knowledge of the past 42 years of state election history provided an astounding testament to the value of institutional memory. The book he will no doubt write when the time comes will become one of our state’s most valuable treasures – kind of like Bill Gardner himself.

Sec. Gardner was not required by his job description to lead that session this past spring. But he saw it as an opportunity to share what he has observed and learned over the years with an audience who cares about that story. He gave generously on his own time and travel to share information that was both important and compelling.

So among the qualities that others have attributed to Bill Gardner, such as trustworthiness, honor, non-partisanship, and integrity I would add generosity. Bill Gardner made many new friends that night in Epping. More importantly, he added enormously to his stellar reputation with everyday voters. He deserves to be our Secretary of State for as long as he wants the job.