by Darryl, 06/28/2011, 9:58 AM

Via KING5:

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.

Fun stuff!

19 Responses to “Another state-wide open seat”

1. Fake Pudge spews:

Kastama’s good people, but hard to get excited about as SOS. But then, maybe it’s just SOS that’s not exciting.

Who’s going to replace Kastama in the state senate. I’d hate to see the Republican’s pickup that seat.

2. Roger Rabbit spews:

Reed has always tried to portray himself as an impartial elections official, but showed his true colors when he stood on a partisan stage with Dino Rossi after the 2004 election. True, he hasn’t engaged in the brazen manipulation of the election process that we’ve seen from so many other Republican election officials across the country, but he hasn’t been a champion of voting rights, either — he generally endorses Republican tactics for narrowing the voting base by making it more difficult for Democratic-leaning demographic groups to vote. His retirement is an opportunity to replace a partisan Republican with a partisan Democrat. It would be nice to get an impartial SOS dedicated to strengthening our democracy; but these are politicians we’re talking about and we have to be realistic in our expectations. That said, I’d rather have a partisan Democrat than a partisan Republican running our elections. And that’s not nearly as bad as it sounds, because Democrats — no matter how partisan they may be in their thoughts and feelings — have never been very effective at partisanship.

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

[Deleted -- see HA Comment Policy]

4. Michael spews:

@2
Kastama’s never struck me as particularly partisan.

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

@3 Now watch the trolls start bitching that they’re the only ones who ever get deleted here. Trust me, they will, it’s only a matter of time.

6. rhp6033 spews:

given the electoral manipulations of Republicans nationwide in 2004, and the challenge to the governor’s race in 2004, Sam Reed could have been a lot worse as far as partisonship goes. The danger is that the SOS race is one of those low-profile races where a lot of money can be thrown at it to get a really partison candidate elected, if the media isn’t paying too much attention (or is in cahoots).

If you don’t think the SOS position is important, remember the 2000 Presidential Election when the Florida Secty of State cut off the re-count an pronounced George W. Bush the winner (giving the U.S. Supreme Court the hook it needed to say it wouldn’t interfere with the Florida certification process), and the Ohio 2004 SOS who participated in a concerted effort to de-register tens of thousands of Democratic voters, most without their knowledge (including U.S. servicemen and women serving in Iraq). The Republican campaign to make it more difficult for potential Democrats to vote is continuing in full force, with some states deciding that picture ID must be presented to vote, and that students must return to their home districts to vote (they can’t vote at their parent’s home address by absentee ballot, or register to vote at their college address).

7. rhp6033 spews:

Come to think of it, why is Sam Reed retiring? Is the thought of another 2004-style recount/challenge too much for him to face? Has he been told by the Republicans that he is expected to make sure McKenna wins, and he hasn’t the stomach for such shenanigans? Do the Republicans already have a candidate ready to step in and delivery the election, and Reed has been told that it is time for him to step down?

8. rhp6033 spews:

Regarding # 7, perhaps I’m being paranoid? As Lily Tomlin said: “I try to be cynical, but it’s hard to keep up”. I really didn’t expect the worst of the “loyal opposition”, I just thought they were misguided. Now I them to pretty much take the low road on every issue, and I’m occassionaly surprised when one or two of them don’t.

9. SuperSteve spews:

I think most people will see Jim Kastama as a moderate Democrat the same way they look at Sam Reed as a moderate Republican – people from ‘the other party’ can throw a vote their way and be able to tell everyone that “I’m not partisan… I voted for…”

Kastama also more of a wonk than a pol… pretty much exactly what most people want in the SOS job since it involves technical stuff like running elections and registering corporations/businesses… administering policy instead of making it.

10. Michael spews:

@6
SOS, is an important position, but one that I find hard to get excited about. Kastama’s an even handed professional and should do well in the spot.

11. Mary P spews:

Why is Reed retiring? Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that he is 70 years old and had a serious health scare last year.

12. Americafirst spews:

@11. Mary P spews:

Why is Reed retiring? Perhaps it is as simple as the fact that he is 70 years old and had a serious health scare last year.
————————————-
It is never that simple here. There is always a secret plot, for example;

“7. rhp6033 spews:
Come to think of it, why is Sam Reed retiring? Is the thought of another 2004-style recount/challenge too much for him to face? Has he been told by the Republicans that he is expected to make sure McKenna wins, and he hasn’t the stomach for such shenanigans? Do the Republicans already have a candidate ready to step in and delivery the election, and Reed has been told that it is time for him to step down?,”

is more or less routine fare. Some of these loons were blaming Bush for plotting to blow up the Twin Towers for years.

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12 “Some of these loons were blaming Bush for plotting to blow up the Twin Towers”

I like our loons better than your loons. See, e.g., http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/528415/posts

14. you voted for the fools, now you pay the consequences spews:

@12

remember now, RHPee was the same idiot who believed that TEH BRIGHTBART hacked into Weiner’s twitter account.

the guy is a certified dipshit.

15. notme spews:

Great news that Kastama is running for SOS because that will finally give me a chance to vote against him. He is not respected in the Senate D caucus, has never chaired an important committee or been in leadership, isn’t known for meaningful legislation of any kind, bores his colleagues to tears with discussion of Malcolm Baldridge awards and esoteric economic development theories, is a member of the conservative “roadkill” caucus, and will screw over traditional Democratic allies anytime he can. No, the D’s can do much better than Kastama and if the R’s come up with another Sam Reed, that may just mark my token Republican vote in 2012.

16. Chris Stefan spews:

GOP Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman is running for Secretary of State. Aren’t there any democrats currently serving as County Auditors or County Election directors who want to be SoS?

17. Michael spews:

@16
Pierce County’s auditor is Julie Anderson. Anderson did a kick-ass job on the Tacoma City Council prior to becoming the auditor. Personally, I hope she stays put. She’d make a good replacement for Norm Dicks if the north end of Tacoma stays in the 6th CD.

People like Julie Anderson are a good reason why people like John Ladenburg need to retire at some point. They need to step aside so that new people can com up through the ranks.

18. Jason Osgood spews:

Chris @ 16

Wouldn’t that be great?

You know what else would be great? Imagine having a statewide political organization that strategically identified and groomed talent. You know, the long view.

I don’t know anything about Kastama. But I am glad it’s not a month before filing and everyone’s standing around wondering what the plan is. That’s worth at least a modest campaign donation.

19. Jason Osgood spews:

rhp @ 7

Cancer.

Though if I was a cynic, I’d say his work is done. Our state has finally embraced voting via email.

It’s hard to imagine a worse solution. Maybe ESP.