Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is announcing this morning that he will not seek re-election when his term ends in 2012.
That makes three open statewide races (Governor, SOS, and AG) in a year for which turn-out will be high on account of the the presidential race. Conventional wisdom would give a boost to the Democratic candidates because of the higher turnout.
Will conventional wisdom hold for 2012? Or will a “throw the bums (i.e. Democrats) out” mentality shake things up in favor of Republicans? Unlikely. First off, the SOS and AG positions are currently held by Republicans. For the gubernatorial race Chris Grygiel argues that Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA-01) doesn’t look like the insider:
Voters nationally – and to a certain extent locally – have expressed a strong “throw the bums out” mentality. They seem to be willing to give newcomers a chance. So how can Inslee, a longtime incumbent, beat the “bum” rap? He’ll be new to voters outside of the two Congressional Districts where he’s held office. Again, conventional wisdom says McKenna has the edge because he’s won statewide office twice – Inslee never has. But another way of looking at that is voters haven’t had a chance to get sick of Inslee yet.
And, of course, McKenna is an Olympia insider….
Finally, State Senator Jim Kastama (D-Puyallup) has announced on his blog that he is running for SOS:
Today, Kastama confirmed he would seek the office of Washington State Secretary of State. Kastama will make a formal public announcement at the Puyallup City Hall 25th district legislative reception on July 5th at 6:00 pm.