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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Reed named a top public official

Secretary of State Sam Reed was named a Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine, the publication said Monday.

Reed will be one of eight elected or appointed government officials to get one of the annual awards in the November issue of the magazine, as well as a soiree in the other Washington on Nov. 16.

He's being honored as an elected official who "who exuded fairness in managing a disputed gubernatorial election in 2004, then reformed the administration of elections in his state."

That first part could have prompted a debate from members of Reed's own party in early 2005, after Chris Gregoire overturned Dino Rossi's lead in the second recount and was declared the winner, and the whole thing wound up in court. With Reed's pushing and prodding, the Legislature made some major changes to the state's voting laws that year and the next.

The award is bipartisan. Arkansa Gov. Mike Huckabee, a GOP presidential aspirant last year, got one in  2005. Gregoire, a Democrat, got one in 2007. And it's not a guarantee of continued good performance. New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer got one in 2002.

Reed joins a relatively long list of Washington government folk so honored by the magazine. To see that list, go inside the blog.

2007: Chris Gregoire

2006: King County Executive Ron Sims

2001: Deborah L. Jacobs, Seattle City librarian.

2000: Steve Kolodney, Washington state chief information officer

1998: Diana Gale, Seattle Public Utilities director

1990: Charles Royer, Seattle mayor; Nancy Abraham, Washington Department of General Services director

1987: Lloyd Hara, Seattle treasurer

(Winners before 1994 received City & State magazine's "Most Valuable Public Official Award," before the two magazines were merged."

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.