Most politicians wait until they get elected to break their first promise.

So give interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin points for originality: He figured out how to do it on his very first day as a candidate for office.

Ardoin, the former first assistant who stepped into the top job after boss Tom Schedler resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal, said all the right things — at first. Soon after Schedler announced his departure, Ardoin told a legislative committee that he would be a committed caretaker, not a candidate in the special election to complete Schedler’s term.

"This office has to remain laser-focused, ignoring the politics swirling around us at this time," he said. And indeed, there’s a lot going on. Not only is the office in upheaval, but secretary of state offices around the country are ground zero in reported Russian efforts to infiltrate American voting systems.

Yet Friday, as qualifying for the special election was about to close, Ardoin told reporters that he’d changed his mind.

“I made the final decision at 4:20 p.m. with my wife,” Ardoin said, as he added his name to the long list of candidates in the Nov. 6 primary. He didn’t criticize his eight opponents, but said he’d decided that the challenges were so substantial that the state shouldn’t have someone who has to learn on the job.

As arguments go, this one’s not particularly convincing. But give Ardoin this, too: At least he didn’t try to convince us he’d misspoken the first time around — that he said he wouldn’t run, but meant that he would.

I mean, who’d ever buy an excuse like that?


Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.