GOP Don Quixote: Obscure politician seeks obscure statewide office

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There are some statewide government elected offices that are a bit obscure and some hopeful politicians with little name recognition.

And what if we add to that mix the fact that one neophyte politician is a Republican challenging a Democratic incumbent in California where Democrats vastly outnumber Republicans? And don’t forget that no Republican currently holds a statewide constitutional office.

This all doesn’t usually make for major news.

But that won’t stop a Northern California attorney from trying, even when his biographical highlights feature the fact that he owned a pizza parlor by the time he was 21.

Walnut Creek attorney Mark Meuser in the Los Angeles area has announced his candidacy for secretary of state, promising to “improve voters confidence in our elections, modernize the registration process for businesses and enhance the people’s ability to use their initiative process.”

Meuser, a Republican challenging Democratic incumbent Alex Padilla, also pledged to be “an innovative secretary of state who uses every tool to enhance not only (voter) registration, but civic engagement.”

“Californians continue to communicate clearly with their elected representatives and yet, nothing changes,” Meuser said Thursday.

“My unique background and training have taught me to listen to people, craft simple solutions to the complex issues they’re facing and work tirelessly to help them overcome those challenges.”

But incumbent Padilla isn’t ignoring the GOP challenge.

The secretary of state “has made it a priority to modernize the agency since Day 1,” said Ellie Caple, a representative of Padilla’s re-election campaign.

“He launched online pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds so that they can vote as soon as they turn 18, he launched an app for the agency so that the public can access the agency’s information from their devices, he is digitizing the filing process so that business owners don’t continue to drown in confusing paperwork and partnered with Google to digitize and publish state records and archives online.”

According to biographical information supplied by his campaign, Meuser is a small business legal advocate, entrepreneur and small business owner.

When Meuser was 12 years old, he would pick cherries in the morning and then operate a street side stand in the afternoon. He would also care for orphaned animals, bottle-feeding sheep, pigs, and cows, according to the biography.

At age 15, Meuser was in a management position at a restaurant and purchased a pizza restaurant when he was 21, the biography said.

—Staff and wire reports

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