Secretary of state is not a statewide office loaded with glamour. The state’s chief elections officer and keeper of records does not normally command much of our attention. Sporadically, however, the importance of the office becomes glaringly obvious. Remember 2004.
So a vote for secretary of state is to be taken seriously. Incumbent Sam Reed, long known for evenhanded competence and integrity, is retiring. Vying to replace him are Democrat Kathleen Drew and Republican Kim Wyman. Both visited our offices twice during the campaign, and we found them to be honest and competent and intelligent. Based on qualifications and experience, however, Wyman is clearly the best choice.
Party labels have nothing to do with it, and that’s important, because nonpartisanship and fairness are more important to this office than any other outside the judiciary. Wyman is an acknowledged elections expert. Four terms as Thurston County auditor and extensive education and training ensure that. She is endorsed enthusiastically by all current and former secretaries of state, and by 44 current and former county auditors, Republican and Democrat. Drew is a former state senator and adviser to the governor with no actual elections experience. She is certainly no rabid partisan, but her endorsers are noticeably narrow.
With the respect of government dependent on efficient and accurate counting of our votes, we have an important stake in seeing this office pass from safe hands to safe hands. Wyman can fill that role well.
This is the opinion of The Wenatchee World and its Editorial Board: Publisher Rufus Woods, Editor Cal FitzSimmons and Editorial Page Editor Tracy Warner.