Gov. Inslee appoints state Sen. Steve Hobbs as Washington’s next Secretary of State
Gov. Inslee announced Wednesday that he is naming state Senator Steve Hobbs as Washington’s new Secretary of State.
Hobbs is a Democrat, having represented the 44th Legislative District for the last 14 years, after first being elected in 2007. He is also the Vice President Pro Tempore in the state Senate, and the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
“Steve is a dedicated public servant,” Inslee said in his announcement. “He has a strong national security perspective from his work in the Army and National Guard. His knowledge of cyber-security will be crucial as election systems around the country continue to face threats.”
“Importantly, Steve has demonstrated political independence,” he continued. “That is crucial during this time of political polarization and distrust. He is a moderate who has worked effectively with people of all political perspectives. He is not afraid to challenge both Democrats and Republicans. Steve has worked to protect democracy and will continue that noble pursuit as Secretary of State.”
Washington’s sitting Secretary of State Kim Wyman announced her resignation in late October, effective on Nov. 19, 2021. She will next serve as the Senior Election Security Lead for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In her new role, Wyman will be heading up a CISA team — which functions as part of the Department of Homeland Security — tasked to “protect future elections from foreign and domestic interference,” according to CNN.
Hobbs will serve until a special election is held for the office in 2022. The winner will serve out the remaining two years in Wyman’s term, followed by a regularly scheduled election for the office in 2024.
Wyman is the only elected Republican to hold a statewide office in Washington state. She’s served as Secretary of State since 2013, having recently won reelection in November 2020 after defeating Democrat Gael Tarleton by a 53% to 46% margin.
Hobbs will become the first Democrat to hold the office of Secretary of State in Washington in almost six decades.