Miller: Mary Treder Lang the only choice for secretary of state

Candice Miller

The Detroit News is making recommendations in a number of state and local races on the Nov. 6 election ballot. To maximize our resources and give our readers a more balanced and comprehensive view of the candidates and issues, The News is using a different approach this year. Some of the selections will bear the traditional endorsement of the newspaper’s editorial board. In other races, we'll offer the personal recommendations of our editorial columnists, Nolan Finley and Ingrid Jacques, along with columns from alternative viewpoints. As always, our mission is to provide our readers with the resources to help them make informed choices on Election Day.

Secretary of State candidate Mary Treder Lang campaigns at the Women Officials Network breakfast at the Doyle Center in Bloomfeild Hills, MI on Oct 5, 2018.

Michigan’s secretary of state has two primary jobs – delivering the kind of customer service motorists deserve, and ensuring Michigan has the best run, most secure elections in the nation. Mary Treder Lang is uniquely qualified to meet those challenges in ways that few candidates in the history of the state have been.

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Take it from a former secretary of state: Treder Lang may be the most qualified candidate to ever run for the office. I hope she’ll earn your vote.

Treder Lang has a modern set of skills, honed and perfected over 30 distinguished years in the private sector, as both a certified public accountant and as a computer security expert, and she’s spent her entire career shattering glass ceilings at some of the world’s most recognizable technology companies.

She started her career at KPMG in Detroit, spent 5 years in various management positions at SBC / Ameritech, and was tabbed to help helm the company’s Computer Security District. She became a recognized computer security expert, before being selected to establish the Midwest Office for LINX Technologies, and eventually held senior management positions with Siemens Inc.

The modern day skills she developed leading each technology company set Treder Lang miles apart from her opponent.

Her customer service plan is aggressive, realistic, and achievable. Forget 30 minute waits at the Secretary of State’s Office. Treder Lang’s plan will help most residents avoid showing up to the branch office altogether, except once every 8 years for a new driver’s license photo.

She plans to develop and implement a new mobile app to help residents renew their plates, their driver’s license or state ID, register to vote, or even join the organ donor registry with a few taps on their smart phone. She’s also identified meaningful improvements she’ll see rolled out to expand online services, has identified opportunities to radically expand the availability of virtual waiting lines, and she plans to double the number of mobile units used by the Department to bring services directly to students on campus and seniors in residential facilities.

Instead of gimmicky promises, Treder Lang identified specific improvements to cut wait times, and she’s got the experience and the track record to deliver on them.

As impressive as her customer service plan is, where Mary really shines is in her skills and commitment to delivering secure elections.

Every day brings unique threats to our elections, and to the voter and resident data the state keeps on file. It’s hard to turn on the news without learning about new threats from Russia, from China, and from domestic hackers looking to compromise our elections, or steal residents’ personal data.

Mary’s experience and expertise couldn’t be more relevant – or more important – as the threats mount and become more sophisticated. Cyber security is Treder Lang’s stock and trade.

When it comes to fair elections, Treder Lang stands out even further when contrasted with her general election opponent, whose significant connection to the individuals behind a headline-grabbing 2010 felony election fraud scheme casts serious doubts over her willingness to act as a fair and impartial defender of Michigan election integrity.

Integrity matters.

Treder Lang has it in spades. In 2013, she stepped away from more glamorous titles and positions to help underserved young people in metro Detroit, as a vice president at Vista Maria, a nonprofit organization delivering innovative care, support, treatment, and education to vulnerable youth to help them heal, believe in their worth, and build the skills they need to succeed later in life.

Politicians call the cameras before doing community service. Mary went the other way, leaving the spotlight behind to go give underprivileged kids a helping hand.

With a modern day set of skills to match the modern demands of customer service and election security, Mary Treder Lang is the right choice for Secretary of State.

Candice Miller is a former Michigan secretary of state and member of Congress. She currently serves as the Macomb County public works commissioner.