LOCAL NEWS

Washington state GOP worried about state’s future as Kim Wyman leaves for Biden administration

Oct 26, 2021, 2:57 PM | Updated: 3:12 pm
Kim Wyman...
Washington Sec. of State Kim Wyman. (Secretary of State, Facebook)
(Secretary of State, Facebook)

The appointment of Secretary of State Kim Wyman to the Biden administration is a significant promotion for the elected Republican leader, but not everyone in her party was pleased to hear of it.

Wyman announced Tuesday that she has accepted a position as Senior Election Security Lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and will be resigning her position on Nov. 19. She has served as Secretary of State for nine years, winning a third term just last year.

The chair of the Washington State Republican Party said he is grateful for her many years of leadership, but sad to hear that Wyman will be leaving, calling it a “disappointing day for Washingtonians who voted for her.”

Secretary of State Kim Wyman resigns, ticketed for new role with Biden administration

“I do think this is a loss for the people of Washington state, and I’m concerned about what the future holds,” said Caleb Heimlich.

It now falls on Governor Jay Inslee to appoint a replacement for Wyman. That person will serve one year, with a new secretary of state set to be elected in November 2022. Heimlich hopes that appointee will be from the same party as Wyman.

“I believe he should respect the voters who voted for a Republican, and have voted for a Republican as our secretary of state since 1964,” he said.

Otherwise, he said, losing that Republican position would remove an important piece of democracy in a traditionally blue state.

“Kim Wyman is the only statewide Republican elected official in Washington, Oregon, or California … and I think that balance, and having a check, is good for our system of government,” Heimlich said.

He also worries that the integrity of our state’s elections will be compromised if a Democrat is chosen.

“I’m afraid that [Inslee] will appoint some partisan hack who is going to politicize our elections and will not administer them appropriately,” Heimlich said, adding, “I think there are policies and efforts that Democrats could undertake to lessen the accountability and make it easier for people to cheat.”

Specifically, he said he is afraid that people will vote twice.

Wyman has consistently said that Washington’s mail-in voting system is safe and secure, to the point of serving as a model for the rest of the nation. In 2018, the state found only 142 cases of suspected improper voting out of 3.1 million ballots.

“Is it perfect? No. But any process that involves people in voting or counting the balance is going to have mistakes that are made. But are we seeing any kind of evidence of rampant fraud? No, we’re not,” she told KIRO Radio last year.

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Washington state GOP worried about state’s future as Kim Wyman leaves for Biden administration