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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 22, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 04
Tina Podlodowski to run for secretary of state
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Tina Podlodowski to run for secretary of state

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Former Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowski will run for secretary of state this year, she announced on January 13.

If elected, she would be the first open Lesbian elected to a statewide office and the first Democrat elected secretary of state since 1961.

In a video campaign announcement, Podlodowski challenged Republican incumbent Secretary of State Kim Wyman over voter turnout. Turnout was down to a record-low 38% last November, and only 75% of eligible voters in the state registered, Podlodowski said.

Podlodowski said Wyman should be held accountable for low turnout figures, because she opposed 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.

'Everyone's vote is their voice in democracy and in our government statewide, so we need to make sure that everyone is participating and that every vote is getting counted.

'The timing was right for me [to run] because the problem has become too acute, that we really need a change in leadership at the secretary of state's office in fixing this,' she added.

A former Microsoft manager, Podlodowski served on the Seattle City Council for one term, from 1995 until 1999. On the council, Podlodowski became known as a consumer advocate, creating the Cable Customer Bill of Rights.

She later became executive director of Lifelong AIDS Alliance and was a senior vice president at the public affairs firm Porter Novelli from 2009 to 2013. In 2014, she advised Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on police reform in the Office of Policy and Innovation.

She has also taken leadership roles in Washington Citizens for Fairness, the Pride Foundation, and HRC.

Former Secretary of State Sam Reed, a member of fellow Republican 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.

Wyman was Thurston County's elections director for a decade before being elected county auditor in 2001. Elected secretary of state in 2012, Wyman is seeking a second term this fall.

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