Former Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowski is running for Secretary of State, arguing incumbent Kim Wyman is to blame for poor voter turnout.
Former Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowski will run for Secretary of State this year, taking aim at Republican incumbent Kim Wyman over voter turnout.
In an interview, Podlodowski said Wyman should be held accountable for opposing reforms such as same-day voter registration and preregistration of 16- and 17-year olds.
“I think there is one place where the buck needs to stop, and that is the Secretary of State,” Podlodowski said.
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A former Microsoft manager, Podlodowski served on the Seattle City Council for one term in the 1990s and was later executive director of Lifelong AIDS Alliance. For part of 2014, she was an adviser to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on police issues.
Former Secretary of State Sam Reed, a leader on Wyman’s campaign steering committee, said it was “ridiculous” for Podlodowski to blame Wyman for poor voter turnout in off-year elections. Turnout in any given year is driven largely by the candidates and measures on the ballot, he said.
Reed said the two candidates will provide a clear choice when it comes to experience, noting Wyman’s decades of experience in administering elections. While Podlodowski may have done other admirable work, Reed said she’s “never been involved” in running an elections office.
Wyman was Thurston County’s elections director for a decade before being elected county auditor in 2001. Elected as Secretary of State in 2012, Wyman is seeking a second term this fall.
Republicans have held the Secretary of State’s office since 1965.