COEUR d'ALENE - If elected, Idaho Secretary of State candidate Mitch Toryanski would work for greater transparency in government and seek to increase voter participation.
The Boise Republican said he is seeking the statewide post because he loves Idaho and enjoys serving the public.
"It's such an important job, and I just feel so well prepared to do it," Toryanski told The Press Friday. "The job is really about openness and it's about enforcement."
He said the secretary of state must be an "honest broker" for the state, giving everyone the same level of service.
"That's what I did as deputy attorney general," Toryanski said. "I'd serve both the Democrat and Republican lawmaker."
Toryanski was a U.S. Army officer for 30 years. He served a tour as inspector general of the Idaho National Guard, conducting investigations, inspections, oversight and ensuring Idaho's military division complied with laws and regulations.
Along with serving as a deputy attorney general, he has been a deputy prosecutor and state senator.
In the Idaho Attorney General's Office, he worked as counselor to the secretary of state and state treasurer.
He became an expert in election law, the recording statutes, lobbyist disclosure requirements and ethics in government.
He also has advised the treasurer on permissible investments under the state Constitution.
His top priorities in office would be online voter registration and getting more young Idahoans involved in the election process.
Online registration would make the process easier so more people would become voters, he said.
"I think we can do it safely," he said. "I think if people get registered they are more likely to vote."
He would encourage the younger generation to become poll workers.
"You got young people injecting a little bit of life and excitement into the election process," he said.
He also supports having more frequent candidate reporting periods for campaign contributions.
"Last reporting day was 31 January, and the next time people have to report is 13 May," he said. "So we'll be seven days before the election and nobody will have any visibility of who is giving who what."
He would work on a real-time campaign contribution reporting system, and plug some holes in campaign finance laws.
In the area of the state Land Board, he said more money should be made for trust beneficiaries - such as schools - through better management.
He said the state's natural resources could be used more, such as through increased logging, to raise more money for beneficiaries. The board manages more than 2.4 million acres.
On the business side, he would like to increase the number of business documents that can be filed electronically.
He said he would work to modernize the Secretary of State's website, too, making it more user-friendly.
"The thing needs to be updated, and we need to stay on that," he said.
As a state senator, Toryanski said he had a conservative voting record. He wrote and presented Senate Resolution 105, which changed Senate rules to require that conflicts of interest be disclosed both in committee and on the Senate floor on the day of a vote. The measure passed 35-0.
He also has worked for a Boise area high-tech manufacturing company and operated a small business.
Toryanski is a director of Idaho Junior Achievement and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. His family was Idaho's 2006 March of Dimes Ambassador Family.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. He received a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College, in Carlisle, Pa., and graduated from law school at the American University, in Washington, D.C.
He and his wife, Kim Wherry Toryanski, have been married for more than 20 years. They have three children, ages 16, 13, and 12.