Thursday, October 4, 2012
The race for Washington's secretary of state has two strong candidates.
But Kim Wyman is clearly the better choice.
Wyman, who currently serves as the elected Thurston County auditor, has trained her entire professional life to serve as the secretary of state -- Washington's chief election officer.
Wyman, a Republican, is serving her fourth term in heavily Democratic Thurston County. The secret to her success is that she manages her office in a nonpartisan way, much like retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed.
Reed, also a Republican, served as Thurston County auditor before winning the statewide office. Wyman worked for Reed as elections supervisor so it's not surprising she is just as dedicated to independent elections as Reed.
Wyman has the managerial experience necessary to oversee every aspect of the job -- from the state library and archives to elections.
Wyman is not only well prepared to run the office but she has the tools necessary to work with the Legislature.
Wyman has support from former secretaries of state as well as 34 current and former county auditors from both parties, including Walla Walla County Auditor Karen Martin.
Her opponent Kathleen Drew, like Wyman, is bright and articulate. Drew, a Democrat, is a former state senator and has management experience.
And while we have no doubt she could learn the job, her background and interests have been focused on policy matters. She has advised the governor on sustainability and streamlining government and authored the state's Ethics in Public Service Law.
She can also be partisan. She is is supported by groups that tend to favor Democrats such as Washington State Labor Council and NARAL Pro-choice Washington.
Drew argues she would put her politics aside when overseeing elections, and she may well succeed.
However, Wyman has proven she runs elections in an independent manner.
Wyman is an impressive candidate who will follow in a long tradition of secretaries of state looking to serve the best interests of voters. We urge voters to elect her secretary of state.