“Democrat endorsed by Tea Party activists, Libertarian Party, and SC Club for Growth.”

Can that be true? And, if so, how?

It IS true. I am that Democrat – a candidate for Secretary of State – and I am proud to have the endorsement of those groups, as well as support from South Carolinians of all political ideologies.

I believe the reason for that broad-based support is rooted in taking positions guided by common sense, rather than devotion to a political party.

The Secretary of State’s office exists fundamentally to facilitate the filing of various forms that companies and charities must submit to the state.  There is nothing Republican or Democrat or conservative or liberal about managing an efficient administrative office with thirty employees.

In the digital age, you would imagine this office becoming increasingly efficient, maybe even irrelevant! Instead, the 12-year incumbent who is my opponent has allowed the office to become a bloated bureaucracy.  And he has virtually sat on the sidelines during the digital revolution.  Of the 139 forms that are filed with his office, only four can be completed online.  The rest require filling out a paper form, mailing it in with a stamped self-addressed envelope, and waiting for weeks for a response.

This doesn’t make sense.  It is inefficient and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

It also doesn’t make sense to be paying the incumbent $92,000 for what has been documented as a less-than-three-day in the office work week.  And it doesn’t make sense to have taxpayers pick up the tab for his 184-mile commute to work.

In the Secretary of State’s office, we can “help” people, by making it easier for them to do business with the state and communicating with them more efficiently and effectively. We can reduce government and make it more efficient by cutting the budget, cutting fees, and cutting regulations – all parts of my 10-point program (www.Ginny4SoS.com). I also believe the office should be appointed rather than elected – truly shrinking the size of government.

I view Democrats as leaning toward the side of helping people (sometimes too much,) while Republicans lean toward encouraging more self-reliance (sometimes too much.) I think we all seek the sweet spot – of “just right.” Conservative groups – such as the Club for Growth, Tea Party activists, and Libertarian Party – want more efficient government and less government.

It is common sense that brings these disparate constituencies together, not political party.  And here’s the point I want to make most compellingly:

It takes real guts and courage to endorse a candidate who doesn’t easily appear to be “one of your own.”  Liberals and conservatives are imagined and often expected to act in lock-step and swear allegiance to a particular political party.

Yet, here we have in our great state, organizations and individuals willing to stand up and be counted as seeking common ground by embracing common sense.  I find that to be an enormously hopeful sign, one we should applaud, embrace and make every effort to replicate.

Ginny Deerin is a candidate for Secretary of State. She has a 40-year career in the corporate and non-profit sectors and is the recipient of The Order of the Palmetto, the State’s highest civilian honor.