Sam Reed

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Sam Reed
Sam Reed.jpg
Washington Secretary of State
Retired officeholder
In office
2001 - 2013
Base salary$116,950
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 7, 2000
Term limitsN/A
High schoolLewis and Clark High School
Bachelor'sWashington State University (1963)
Master'sWashington State University (1968)
Date of birthJanuary 10, 1941
Place of birthWenatchee, WA
Office website
Sam Reed (born January 10, 1941, in Wenatchee, Washington) is a former Republican Secretary of State of Washington. He was first elected to the statewide position in 2000 and was subsequently re-elected to the office in both 2004 and 2008. Reed chose to not seek re-election in 2012.[1] He was succeeded by Kim Wyman (R), who won election on November 6, 2012.



  • Bachelor's degree, Washington State University (1963) in social studies
  • Master's degree, Washington State University (1968) in political science

Political career

Prior to being elected to the position of Secretary of State of Washington in 2000, Sam Reed held a number of prominent political positions. He was appointed by then-Governor Dan Evans as the executive director of the Governor’s Urban Affairs Council, a role he occupied for two years beginning in 1967. From 1969 to 1975, Sam Reed served as Assistant Secretary of State under Lud Kramer and Bruce Chapman. Governor Dan Evans called upon him again to serve the people of Washington, this time as the director of the State Constitutional Reform Commission, from 1975-77. He was elected five times between 1978 and 2001 to the position of auditor for Thurston County before ultimately being selected by the people as Washington’s Secretary of State.
Retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed addressing a joint session of the Washington Legislature.

In addition to these public service roles, he co-founded the Common Cause of Washington, filled the roles of secretary and president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and served as president of Ballot Northwest. From 1968 to 1970, Sam Reed was the state co-chair of Action for Washington. He helped found and served as chair of the Mainstream Republicans of Washington organization in 1994. In 1996, he was named president of the Washington State Association of County Auditors. He was delegated in 2002 as president of the Republican Association of Secretaries of State.

Nonpartisan blanket primary

As Washington Secretary of State, Reed advocated for and oversaw the introduction of the nonpartisan blanket primary voting system for statewide and district elections. In a nonpartisan blanket primary, all candidates for elected office run in the same primary election contests regardless of political party affiliation. As with a runoff election, the top two vote recipients advance to the general election. Other states such as California, Alaska, and Louisiana have used this voting system at some point in their history.


Initiative 1029

In 2008, SEIU submitted signatures on an initiative petition, Initiative 1029, to Sam Reed, the Washington Secretary of State. At some point, it was discovered that SEIU had mislabeled the petition forms. Intending to circulate the initiative as an Initiative to the People, they had instead printed on the petition that it was an Initiative to the Legislature. Reed indicated that he would accept the petitions as an initiative to the people (rather than the legislature) despite what it said on the petition.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorialized against this, saying:

"Could Secretary of State Sam Reed still change his mind about accepting egregiously mislabeled initiative petitions? We'd like to think the steady, veteran public leader could summon the political fortitude to reverse his decision to ignore a powerful labor union's flagrant carelessness on an issue that's supposedly so important it must be brought to voters in November."[2]

Recall campaign

A recall campaign was launched again Reed in 2004, but the attempt at recall was judicially invalidated in February 2005.[3]


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Sam Reed endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [4]

Other roles

  • Board Member, Television of Washington (2001-present)
  • Board of Trustees, Washington State Historical Society (2001-present)
  • Member, YMCA Youth and Government Board (2001-present)
  • Former President, Olympia Kiwanis Club
  • Board Member, Patrons of South Sound Cultural Arts
  • Member, Washington State Archives Advisory Committee
  • Board of Directors, Cornish College of Arts
  • Member, Master in Public Administration Advisory Board at Evergreen State College
  • State Executive Board Chair, American Cancer Society
  • Member, Americorps Advisory Council for Thurston/Mason Counties



See also: Washington secretary of state election, 2012
Reed opted not to seek re-election as Washington Secretary of State in 2012. Kim Wyman (R) won election on November 6, 2012.
Former Secretary of State Sam Reed at a roast and toast to commemorate his 45 years of public service.


2008 Race for Secretary of State - Primary Election[5]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Sam Reed 59.4%
     Democratic Party Jason Osgood 32.5%
     Constitution Party Marilyn Montgomery 6.5%
     Party of Commons Mark Greene 1.7%
Total Votes 1,373,921

On November 4, 2008, Sam Reed won re-election to the office of Washington Secretary of State. He defeated Jason Osgood (D) in the general election.

Washington Secretary of State, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSam Reed Incumbent 60.8% 1,718,033
     Democratic Jason Osgood 39.2% 1,107,634
Total Votes 2,825,667
Election Results Via: Washington Secretary of State


On November 2, 2004, Sam Reed won re-election to the office of Washington Secretary of State. He defeated Laura Ruderman (D) and Jacqueline Passey (L) in the general election.

Washington Secretary of State, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSam Reed Incumbent 51.5% 1,369,421
     Democratic Laura Ruderman 45.4% 1,209,299
     Libertarian Jacqueline Passey 3.1% 82,097
Total Votes 2,660,817
Election Results Via: Washington Secretary of State


On November 7, 2000, Sam Reed won election to the office of Washington Secretary of State. He defeated Don L. Bonker (D), J. Bradley Gibson (L) and Curtis Loftis (RFM) in the general election.

Washington Secretary of State, 2000
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSam Reed 81.1% 1,073,911
     Democratic Don L. Bonker 8% 106,369
     Libertarian J. Bradley Gibson 7.1% 94,202
     RFM Curtis Loftis 3.7% 49,417
Total Votes 1,323,899
Election Results Via: Washington Secretary of State

Campaign contributions

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Sam Reed's donors each year.[6] Click [show] for more information.


Sam Reed and his wife, Margie, reside in Olympia, Washington. They have two children together, David and Kristen, in addition to two grandchildren. Reed is a practicing Presbyterian.


In 2009, Governing magazine named Reed as one of eight "Public Officials of the Year" for his nonpartisan approach, citing his handling of the 2004 gubernatorial election recount and his support of the blanket primary system.[7] Other honorees included Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen, and Minnesota Representative Phyllis Kahn. Each year since 1994, Governing has selected a handful of state and local officials to honor for standout job performance. The Public Officials of the Year program "recognizes leaders from state, city and county government who exemplify the ideals of public service."[8]

Reed has also received the following:

  • Gonzaga Law Medal
  • Robert F. Utter Award

Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Washington Secretary of State
Post Office Box 40220
Olympia, WA 98504-0220

Phone: (360) 902-4151
Fax: (360) 586-5629

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Ralph Munro
Washington Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Kim Wyman