TVW Update

Inside Olympia – Kim Wyman

November 25, 2021

This week on Inside Olympia, host Austin Jenkins sits down virtually for an in-depth exit interview with departing Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who is stepping down to take a top election security post with the Biden administration.

Wyman was elected in 2012 as Washington’s 15th secretary of state, and was just a year into her third term. She is only the second woman to hold the office. She’s a Republican going to work for a democratic administration — and she departs as the only remaining Republican statewide office holder on the West Coast, outside of Alaska. Gov. Jay Inslee recently appointed Democratic State Sen. Steve Hobbs to replace Wyman, with a special election for the office on the calendar for next November.

Wyman has often said the administration of fair and secure elections should not be a partisan issue. And she called the job offer from the federal government a “call to duty,” in which she will be consulting with local governments across the nation, offering them federal help and services to update their election systems to fend off a growing wave of cyber attacks.

She said her skills are a good fit for the job, and surprisingly, a unique skill set among secretaries of state: only two of the 35 elected secretaries of state across America have hands-on local election experience as a county auditor or elections officer. Wyman served for years in both roles for Thurston County before running for Secretary of State.

Besides cybersecurity, Wyman talks at length about public trust in elections, during a time of political polarization and continuing attacks on election integrity.

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