Kim Wyman: ‘I don’t think it matters’ if Washington’s Secretary of State is a Republican

Nov 12, 2021, 1:13 PM | Updated: Nov 14, 2021, 7:11 am
Secretary of State Wyman...
Sec. of State Kim Wyman will be leaving for a new job with the Biden administration in November. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

Washington Republicans have been critical of Gov. Jay Inslee’s choice to replace outgoing Secretary of State Kim Wyman with Democrat Steve Hobbs. Speaking to KIRO Radio’s Gee & Ursula Show on Friday, Wyman stressed her support for her soon-to-be successor.

Inslee’s Secretary of State choice was ‘a political calculation,’ says state GOP

Among those who have voiced concerns over Hobbs’ appointment has been state House GOP Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox, who claims that the move “breaks a several decades long tradition of world class elections experts in that position.”

State GOP Chair Caleb Heimlich has also expressed his belief that Inslee should have appointed a Republican to fill the role, given that the party has held the Secretary of State office since 1964.

Wyman disagrees.

“I don’t think it really matters the party affiliation of the office holder, it’s really how they do the job,” she said, noting that she is “confident” in Hobbs’ resumé, which includes 32 years of military service and 14 years as a state lawmaker.

“Given Senator Hobbs’ record in the Senate and then his work as a national guardsmen being a lieutenant colonel, you don’t raise to that rank without being a good leader, first and foremost, and also without approaching your job in that apolitical manner you have to as a federal employee,” Wyman clarified.

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

Hobbs also boasts a background in cybersecurity from his time in the military, which Wyman touts as an added plus.

“He has extensive professional experience with cybersecurity and IT, as well as [combating] misinformation and disinformation,” she described. “I think he has that foundation going for him.”

Once Hobbs takes office later in November, Wyman promises that he will have “a team of subject matter experts” to help bring him up to speed, predicting that by the next major election, “people will have confidence in our election system because of the secretary.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Kim Wyman: ‘I don’t think it matters’ if Washington’s Secretary of State is a Republican