Governor endorses former Issaquah legislator for secretary of state

June 22, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. June 22, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday endorsed Kathleen Drew, a onetime Issaquah state senator and a former aide to the governor, for secretary of state.

The governor announced the endorsement of Drew, a fellow Democrat, less than a month after Drew earned the state Democrats’ endorsement in the race to succeed retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed.

“Kathleen’s experience in the Legislature and in the Governor’s Office make her well suited to be secretary of state,” Gregoire said in a statement. “She has my support and my vote.”

Other Democrats in the race for secretary of state include former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Puyallup state Sen. Jim Kastama. Though the candidates all appear on the August primary ballot, only Drew earned the party’s nod.Republicans closed ranks behind Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman.

Drew served in Gregoire’s administration, initially as a policy adviser focused on the environment and then on general government issues. In the environmental role, Drew crafted the legislation to establish the Puget Sound Partnership, a regional effort to clean up Puget Sound.

Drew left Gregoire’s office in October to serve as a policy adviser at the state Department of Enterprise Services — a super-agency responsible for handling payroll and personnel, as well as managing contracts, real estate and supplies.

“Kathleen worked in my administration for six years,” Gregoire said. “During that time she showed great leadership on a range of policy issues, including efforts to streamline government.”

Drew and then-state Attorney General Gregoire served together in 1993 on the Commission on Ethics in Government and Campaign Practices — a panel created by then-Gov. Mike Lowry to overhaul conflict-of-interest and ethics laws.

In the Legislature, Drew later crafted a tough ethics law for public employees.

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