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This autumn, I intend to vote a straight Republican ticket, except for clerk of the Montana Supreme Court. For this position, I will be voting for Rex Renk.

By some mysterious artifact of history, our Supreme Court clerk is a partisan race. However, the job must be, at all times, nonpartisan. The mosaic of Montana law contains variously shaped and sized tiles representing the diverse swath of people in this state. A good clerk of court, however, should pass without notice - like the dull grout holding the mosaic together. A good clerk should be sworn into office, and decades later, merit a small store-bought cake at 4 p.m. on retirement day, with maybe some Hawaiian Punch.

It is not an office of galas, pageantry or self-promotion. Like a great piece of machinery, it should largely go unnoticed. Renk is the fellow who will serve, as he has already, with a bland steadiness that keeps him out of the public eye so the machinery of the judiciary can work without the toxicity of needless partisanship.

Mark D. Parker

Billings

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