NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sam Reed not running again in 2012?

A few weeks ago, we start­ed hear­ing spec­u­la­tion that incum­bent Sec­re­tary of State Sam Reed, who has held the posi­tion for sev­er­al terms, was think­ing about retir­ing and not run­ning again in 2012. We don’t care much for repeat­ing unsub­stan­ti­at­ed rumors, so we did­n’t report it here on The Advo­cate, but today, we got word from mul­ti­ple peo­ple that Reed may pub­licly announce his plans as ear­ly as tomorrow.

Reed’s retire­ment would cre­ate an open seat in a third statewide race next year, which would make 2012 all the more inter­est­ing. (Chris Gre­goire is not seek­ing anoth­er term as gov­er­nor, and Rob McKen­na is vacat­ing the office of attor­ney gen­er­al to run for that job). Sev­er­al Democ­rats are said to be inter­est­ed in run­ning if Reed does­n’t, and they will have to decide quick­ly if they want to move for­ward, should Reed con­firm his retire­ment tomorrow.

Oth­er inde­pen­dent­ly elect­ed mem­bers of Wash­ing­ton’s exec­u­tive branch are plan­ning to ask vot­ers for anoth­er term, includ­ing State Trea­sur­er Jim McIn­tire and Lands Com­mis­sion­er Peter Goldmark.

State Audi­tor Bri­an Son­ntag has made noise about run­ning for gov­er­nor, but it’s already a crowd­ed field, with Rob McKen­na a vir­tu­al lock for the Repub­li­can vote and Jay Inslee a vir­tu­al lock for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic vote.

To our knowl­edge, Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion Randy Dorn has­n’t said whether he intends to run again, and nei­ther has Insur­ance Com­mis­sion­er Mike Krei­dler. Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Brad Owen has­n’t come to a deci­sion either.

Repub­li­cans have con­trolled the posi­tion of Sec­re­tary of State even longer than Democ­rats have con­trolled the gov­er­nor’s man­sion. The last Demo­c­rat to serve as Sec­re­tary of State was Vic Mey­ers; he left office at the end of 1964, mean­ing that the state’s top elec­tions offi­cial has not been a Demo­c­rat in almost half a century.

Nat­u­ral­ly, Democ­rats are anx­ious to end the Repub­li­cans’ streak, just as Repub­li­cans want to end the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s hold on the gov­er­nor­ship. That is part­ly why there’s a lot of inter­est on the Demo­c­ra­t­ic side. We’ll see how the race shakes out. It could be very memorable.

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