Inside Opinion

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Tag: kathleen drew

Sep.
11th

A secretary of state named Belle

Belle Reeves, Washington secretary of state from 1938 to 1948. (Washington secretary of state's office)

While writing today’s editorial, in which we endorse Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman for secretary of state, I almost made a big mistake.

I was going to write that one way or another, Washington would be electing its first female secretary of state Nov. 6. Republican Wyman’s Democratic opponent is former state senator Kathleen Drew.

The only thing wrong with that statement is the fact that Washington already has had a woman secretary of state: Belle Reeves, from 1938 to 1948. Luckily a Google search turned up her name, and I was able to find this information on the secretary of state’s website, as well as a photo (I love her old-timey spit curls).

Belle Reeves, a Democrat, is the only female in history elected Washington Secretary of State. She was appointed Washington’s eighth Secretary of State in February, 1938 by Governor Clarence Martin and served two and-a-half terms. Secretary Reeves was born in 1871 in Quincy, Ohio, where she spent her childhood. Her family moved to Washington in 1889. She lived in Wenatchee where she and her husband ran the town’s first newspaper, The Wenatchee Advance. Her political career began in 1922 when she was elected to the House of Representatives. She represented the 56th Legislative District for eight terms from 1922-1938 before being appointed Secretary of State. Belle Reeves died in Olympia during her second full term on January 2, 1948. Read more »

Sep.
10th

Wyman, for a secretary of state all voters can trust

Kim Wyman

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

In a perfect world, the position of Washington’s secretary of state would be nonpartisan. That way, it would be harder to accuse the office holder – the state’s highest elections official – of playing party favorites.

But it is a partisan position. So the next best thing would be to elect someone who is not highly partisan and has a record of inspiring confidence in both Republicans and Democrats. Say, someone like Sam Reed – a Republican who has been elected three times in a state that doesn’t elect very many Republicans to statewide office.

But Reed is retiring. If voters want to replace him with someone who embraces his brand of nonpartisan professionalism, they should elect the candidate he is endorsing and who is following in his footsteps by first serving as Thurston County auditor: Kim Wyman. Read more »

July
5th

Wyman and Kastama in secretary of state primary

Kim Wyman

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Democrats will remember a sinking feeling in 2000 when they discovered that the woman overseeing Florida’s presidential vote count – Secretary of State Katherine Harris – was a highly partisan Republican working for George W. Bush’s election.

Washington Republicans will remember their own suspicions after the 2004 governor’s race when they saw King County’s elections office – supervised by the Democratic county executive, Ron Sims – coming up with satchel after satchel of uncounted ballots that tilted toward Democrat Chris Gregoire.

The lesson: Hard-core partisanship and vote-counting are a dangerous mix. The legitimacy of close elections depends on public confidence that the people handling the ballots are honest brokers.

Jim Kastama

Example: The 2004 contest between Gregoire and Dino Rossi ended in a statistical tie. Her infinitesimal margin – 129 votes out of 2.9 million – was accepted in part because the statewide election was overseen by a soft-edged, even-handed Republican, Secretary of State Sam Reed, who had the trust of just about everybody.

This is why we favor Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman and state Sen. Jim Kastama of Puyallup in the Aug. 7 primary for secretary of state.
Read more »

May
6th

Where are the women candidates?

Today’s centerpiece article on the opinion page about women candidates, “Don’t get mad, get elected,” got me wondering about the future of this state’s female leadership.

Washington has a woman governor and two women senators. The state Senate has a woman majority leader (Lisa Brown), and the state Legislature is full of women.

But now Brown has announced she’s not seeking re-election, and Gov. Chris Gregoire is stepping down, likely to be replaced by either Rob McKenna or Jay Inslee. If Sen. Marie Cantwell is defeated in November, the state will only have one woman elected statewide (Sen. Patty Murray). Read more »