OLYMPIA, Wash. — Just because outgoing Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is a Republican, don’t expect her replacement to be a Republican, Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday.
Wyman is resigning from the state office in November to take an election security position with the federal government.
Under state law, the governor is not obligated to fill the position with someone from the same political party.
“I call on Governor Inslee to listen to the will of the voters and appoint a Republican to serve as Secretary of State,” said Republican Party Chair Caleb Heimlich. “A Republican has held this position since 1965 and our election system is better off because of those decades of leadership.”
Inslee said he expects to name a replacement in the coming weeks.
When asked about the request from the Republican Party, he responded, ”We haven’t ruled anything in or anything out. But I do disagree with the Republican Party where they think that somehow the Republican Party owns a particular office.”
Inslee noted how in 1983, following the death of Democratic U.S. Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, then-Governor John Spellman, a Republican, replaced Jackson with a Republican, Dan Evans.