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Republican state senator says he'll run for secretary of state

A balding white man with a dark suit jacket, white shirt and blue-and-red striped tie poses for a portrait.
Washington State Senate
State Sen. Keith Wagoner

Republican state Sen. Keith Wagoner says he plans to challenge newly appointed Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs in next year’s election.

Hobbs was sworn into office Nov. 22 following his appointment by Gov. Jay Inslee to replace Kim Wyman, a Republican. Wyman — the fifth consecutive GOP secretary of state in Washington dating back to 1965 — resigned to take a key election security job in the Biden administration.

Wagoner said voters have long shown a preference for a Republican secretary of state and Inslee failed to recognize that by naming Hobbs, who was a Democratic state senator since 2007. Hobbs' appointment lasts until the November 2022 election, which will determine who serves the remaining two years of Wyman's four-year term. Hobbs says he plans to enter that race.

With Wyman's departure, Democrats hold all nine statewide elected offices, in addition to controlling the Senate and House.

“I am looking to provide balance and accountability. I don’t think you get that when one one party runs everything,” Wagoner told The Daily Herald.

Wagoner was appointed to his Senate seat in January 2018. Later than year he won a four-year term representing the 39th Legislative District, which encompasses swaths of rural Snohomish and Skagit counties and a sliver of King County.

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