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Originally published Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

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Editorial: The Times recommends Kim Wyman for Washington’s secretary of state

Voters should elect Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman as Washington’s next secretary of state.

Seattle Times Editorial

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Kim Wyman is the clear choice to be Washington’s next secretary of state.

The Thurston County auditor has more than 20 years of experience running elections and leads an office with an excellent reputation for accuracy.

In addition to its elections focus, the Secretary of State’s Office licenses and registers corporations. Wyman has a number of ideas for streamlining how businesses interact with state government.

Significantly, current Secretary of State Sam Reed endorsed Wyman, as have two previous secretaries of state, Ralph Munro and Bruce Chapman. Yes, they all, like Wyman, are Republicans, but her support transcends party lines. She has the support of 65 current and former county auditors or elections officials — 26 Democrats, 35 Republicans and four nonpartisan. They know firsthand the importance of the Secretary of State’s Office.

Notably, Wyman was re-elected to her fourth auditor’s term in 2010 with 66 percent of the vote in a county that skews Democratic.

The bar for an elections umpire is high. “It’s more than following the rules and being fair,” Wyman said. “The losers have to believe they were treated fairly.”

That support and confidence across party lines is essential for the state’s chief election officer. Reed presided admirably over the 2004 gubernatorial election with a margin so tight it ended up in litigation. Democrat Chris Gregoire prevailed over Republican Dino Rossi, and Reed lost some Republican friends because he wouldn’t bend to pressure.

Wyman’s opponent, Kathleen Drew, is an accomplished and well-respected public servant, most recently as a policy adviser to Gregoire. She served a term as a state senator from the 5th Legislative District in East King County in the 1990s.

But she does not have Wyman’s hands-on experience with elections and her listed endorsements tend to be from Democrats and traditional Democratic constituencies. She does not offer the same support across party lines that Wyman does.

Wyman’s direct experience and her bipartisan support make her the clear choice.

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