OLYMPIA — Julie Anderson, who mounted a nonpartisan campaign for secretary of state against Democrat Steve Hobbs, conceded the race Thursday evening, she confirmed to The Seattle Times.

Anderson called Hobbs shortly before 6 p.m. to concede.

“We don’t see a path forward numerically, so it’s time to concede,” Anderson said.

As of 6:22 p.m., Hobbs held 49.25% of the vote, while Anderson had 46.9%. Write-in votes comprised 3.86%.

Anderson, the Pierce County auditor, ran as a nonpartisan candidate against Hobbs, a Democrat and former state senator who was appointed to the post last year.

“I’m honored that voters have put their faith in me and endorsed the work we’ve done this past year ensuring Washington’s elections are secure, transparent, and accessible to all,” Hobbs said in a statement. “My thanks to Auditor Anderson for her service and spirited campaign.”

Although he’s been in office for roughly a year, Hobbs is the first Democrat elected Washington Secretary of State in decades — Republicans had held the post since the 1960s.


“I’m deeply humbled to be the first Democrat elected to this office in nearly 60 years, as well as the first person of color to serve in this role,” said Hobbs, whose mother is of Japanese descent. “I look forward to continue serving all Washingtonians.” 

Anderson said she was disappointed but gratified by the votes she received after what she called an “unconventional campaign.”

“To have over a million voters vote for competence and experience and political neutrality is very gratifying, and it confirms that I was definitely on the right track,” Anderson said.

The secretary of state oversees elections and registers businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Hobbs filled the seat of Republican Kim Wyman, who accepted a post in the Biden administration.