Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will be installed Thursday as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in Washington, D.C.
A DFLer who presided over the U.S. Senate recount in 2008, Ritchie became of lighting rod for GOP critics who thought he favored Democrat Al Franken over incumbent Republican Norm Coleman. But the recount survived court challenges, which didn't hurt Ritchie's national profile.
Ritchie will succeed former Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, who left office this month.
Members of the NASS Executive Board elected Ritchie to serve out the remainder of Dunlap’s term, making him the fifth Minnesotan to lead the national organization of chief state election and business services officials.
With Ritchie's election, Minnesota now ranks first among the states in producing NASS presidents. He joins former secretaries Mary Kiffmeyer (2003-2004), Joan Anderson Growe (1979-1980), Joseph Donovan (1967-1968) and Mike Holm (1924-1926, 1944-1945) as Minnesota secretaries of state who have led the 106 year-old association.