OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Inslee named state senator Steve Hobbs as Washington's next Secretary of State.
Inslee made the announcement in Glasgow on Wednesday. Hobbs, a Democrat, is taking over the role from Republican Kim Wyman, who resigned to join the Biden Administration. Wyman was previously the lone statewide-elected Republican on the West Coast.
The Secretary of State is in charge of election integrity, government records, public outreach and directing the public to information about corporations and charities.
"Steve is a dedicated public servant. He has a strong national security perspective from his work in the Army and National Guard. His experience in cyber-security will be crucial as election systems around the country continue to face threats," said Inslee.
Hobbs grew up and still lives in Snohomish County, and served in the U.S. Army for more than 32 years, joining at the age of 17. Hobbs was elected to the state Senate in 2007, representing the 44th Legislative District. He also serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Washington State National Guard.
"Importantly, Steve has demonstrated political independence. 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," said Inslee. "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."
"Senator Hobbs is a proven leader and dedicated public servant. As a lieutenant colonel in the Washington Army National Guard, I am confident Steve will bring that same commitment to service and integrity to the Office of the Secretary of State," said Wyman. "As a state senator, Steve has a demonstrated record of seeking bipartisan solutions to complex problems, which is essential to the position of secretary of state. It is imperative the secretary of state — the state’s chief elections official — serve as a neutral arbiter in order to inspire confidence across the political spectrum in our election processes and results. This approach is just as essential when overseeing the preservation of and access to our state’s historical treasures, providing a streamlined registration process for Washington corporations and charities, administering various community programs, and so much more."
Hobbs, who is Asian-American, will be the first person of color to serve as Washington's Secretary of State.
He will begin his role on November 22, and will run in a statewide special election in November 2022 to complete the last two years of his term.
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