OLYMPIA – Secretary of State Kim Wyman has been re-elected to a second term, continuing a five-decade trend of Republicans holding that office.
Wyman previously served as the Thurston County auditor and the county’s elections director. She defeated Democrat Tina Podlodowski, a former Microsoft manager who served on the Seattle City Council for one four-year term in the 1990s and was an adviser to current Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in 2014.
In an emailed statement, Wyman wrote Thursday that her re-election, with about 54 percent of the vote, was a “huge victory.”
“In the face of the most money ever spent on a Washington Secretary of State race, and in the crosshairs of one of the most negative campaigns ever run for this office, we held firm,” she wrote. “We proved that running a positive, issues-driven campaign still works. We proved that integrity and fairness do matter in our elections.”
In addition to being the state’s chief elections’ officer, the secretary of state also serves as chief corporations officer and supervisor of the state archives and state library.
Podlodowski raised more than $900,000 in her bid to oust Wyman, and spent more than half of that on negative TV ads that attempted to tie Wyman to Republican Donald Trump, who won the presidential election Tuesday night. Wyman, who raised more than $855,000 in her race, said this past summer she wouldn’t weigh in on the presidential race, noting that the nature of her job requires she not advocate for or against any particular candidate.
In an email to her supporters Thursday, Podlodowski congratulated Wyman “on a hard fought campaign.”
Podlodowski called on her supporters to continue to work for issues she advocated for during her campaign: passage of the state Voting Rights Act, funding in the state budget to make mailed ballots postage free and requiring an outside audit of the state’s election system.
“We must hold ourselves, and our elected representatives, accountable as the new legislative session begins on January 9, 2017,” she wrote.
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