in the states are trying to deal with," Jarrett said. "I think it would be very valuable. Having said that, there's also the reality that you're just one of more than 400 members of the House."

NASCIO would always like to see a higher level of technological familiarity in Congress, he said, because every new member with an increased awareness of IT issues helps chip away at the lack of technological knowledge.

Flynn's decision is clearly a personal one, Jarrett said, and doesn't necessarily mean a slew of current and former CIOs will suddenly get a yen to jump into the political circus.

"I have no qualms in saying it's not something I would do," Jarrett said. "Since I've been here, this is the first one that I'm aware of. But there are some CIOs who came the other way -- like Val Oveson, who was lieutenant governor of Utah before he was CIO."

Jarrett said he sees this event as more the exception than the rule, especially since many CIOs are coming into state government from the private sector, and those CIOs aren't exactly enamored with the public sector.

"As we've seen, a lot of them go back to the private sector because they struggled with the dynamic within a government-type process," he said. "It's just very different. Unless you've spent time in it and understand it, I just don't see where a lot of them are going to jump up and say, 'Hey, this is great. I think I'll run for office!'"

Shane Peterson  |  Associate Editor