By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Gov. Jay Inslee named Steve Hobbs as Washington Secretary of State on Nov. 10—replacing Kim Wyman who is vacating the position to take a role with the Biden administration.
As an Asian American, Hobbs will be the first person of color to serve in this role.
In a video announcement (at press time, Inslee was in Scotland for COP 26, the world climate change conference), Inslee said, “Steve is a dedicated public servant. He has a strong national security perspective from his work in the Army and National Guard. His knowledge of cyber-security will be crucial as election systems around the country continue to face threats.” Inslee added, “Importantly, Steve has demonstrated political independence. That is crucial during this time of political polarization and distrust. He is a moderate who has worked effectively with people of all political perspectives. He is not afraid to challenge both Democrats and Republicans. Steve has worked to protect democracy and will continue that noble pursuit as Secretary of State.”
The Washington Secretary of State preserves the integrity of elections in Washington state; safeguards vital government records, documents, publications and process; provides the business community and public with easy access to information about corporations and charities; and performs public outreach to improve civic knowledge and participation.
Hobbs, of white and Japanese descent, grew up in Snohomish County and ran for Congress in 2012, and Lieutenant Governor in 2016. He has represented the 44th Legislative District in the state Senate since 2007. He currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Washington State National Guard.
Hobbs thanked Inslee “for putting his faith and trust in me to perform the duties of this office. There is nothing more sacred than the right to vote. I’ve fought for that right overseas and will do everything in my power to protect that right here in Washington.”
Hobbs has both a Master of Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. He recently completed Defense Information School through the U.S. Department of Defense and has additional training for officers from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Inslee’s appointment of Hobbs takes effect on Nov. 22. There will be a statewide special election in November 2022 to complete the last two years of the secretary of state’s term.
A replacement for Hobbs’ current senate seat will be made by Snohomish County.
Ruth can be reached at email@example.com.