Decades-long New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner to retire

At a press conference on Monday, longtime New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner announced he will retire from office.

Gardner has served as Secretary of State in Concord for over five decades. He was elected in 1976 and has won reelection every two years since. At the press conference, Gardner cited timing as his reason for leaving office now.

“The two previous secretary of states [sic] have died in office and I’ve thought about that,” Gardner said. “It wasn’t actually something I aspired to.” Gardner also said this seemed like the smoothest time to transition to a new Secretary of State.

Gardner will remain in office until arrangements are made for the incoming Secretary of State to be sworn in. “In the coming days, I will be stepping down as the secretary of state,” Gardner said. “I will do so after arrangements have been made for the constitutional deputy Dave Scanlan to take the oath of office,” Gardner said.

Gardner will end his career as the longest-serving Secretary of State in the United States. One of his accomplishments during his tenure was keeping the tradition of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation status, which, according to New Hampshire law, requires the state’s presidential primary to be held at least seven days ahead of any other state in the US.

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