A candidate for Michigan Secretary of State hopes that the second time will be the charm.

Jocelyn Benson was the Democratic candidate for the office in 2010 but lost to Republican Ruth Johnson. Johnson is term-limited and cannot seek reelection in 2018. Benson is seeking the Democratic nomination again, believing she is even more prepared and qualified for the role this time around. In Howell on Monday, Benson told WHMI that she has experience in positions that are similar to the Secretary of State. She said she sees the office of Secretary of State as a tremendous opportunity for a person to have a great impact at improving the lives of citizens in the state.

A Detroit resident, Benson, a Harvard Law graduate, served as dean of the Wayne State University Law School from 2012 through 2016. She currently serves as CEO and executive director of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. She has authored a book on the role of the Secretary of State, is a board member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and founded Military Spouses of Michigan while her husband was serving in Afghanistan.

Benson believes election security is the number one concern and if elected, would create a task force to ensure that Michigan elections are honest and tamper-proof. She also would implement a “30 minute guarantee” that will benefit citizens by getting them into and out of polling locations and local Secretary of State branches in a half-hour or less. Benson, while running as a Democrat, believes the office should be non-partisan as the ideas of providing better service and safe elections are something everyone should have a stake in. (MK)