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Hobbs gets early lead in bid to remain WA Secretary of State

Savanna Rothe, Spokane Public Radio

Washington’s incumbent Secretary of State had an early lead in the only statewide race on the midterm ballot, according to initial figures released Tuesday night.

Democrat Steve Hobbs had 50 percent of the vote as of 9:00 p.m. Independent challenger Julie Anderson had 47 percent.

Hobbs and Anderson are running to serve the remaining two years of Kim Wyman’s term. Wyman left office about a year ago to work for the Biden Administration. Washington’s GOP hoped Gov. Jay Inslee would name another Republican to succeed Wyman, for continuity’s sake.

Anderson, the former auditor in Pierce County, ran an as independent, which she made a key part of her pitch for office. If elected, Anderson said she would ask the Washington legislature to make the secretary of state’s office a nonpartisan one.

"I don't think it makes sense – and voters tell me it doesn't make sense – for the secretary of state to belong to a team," Anderson said in an interview earlier this year.

Hobbs downplayed his party label, saying during the campaign that he could work across the aisle to conduct the secretary’s job in a good manner. Hobbs has also said the secretary of state’s office needs to better inform the public about electoral safeguards and processes, in order to combat misinformation about election integrity.

Hobbs claimed 40 percent of votes cast in the August primary. Anderson won 13 percent.

Brandon Hollingsworth is your All Things Considered host. He has served public radio audiences for fifteen years, primarily in reporting, hosting and interviewing. His previous ports-of-call were WUOT-FM in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Alabama Public Radio. His work has been heard nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here and Now and NPR’s top-of-the-hour newscasts.