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Monday, October 04, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
The Times endorses
Democrat Laura Ruderman is a three-term legislator this newspaper has endorsed three times. Pursuit of this office takes her out of the Legislature and that is a disappointment. Unfortunately, she is in the wrong race, at the wrong time.
Ruderman offers an energetic though unconvincing challenge to Reed's stewardship of the office that oversees elections, maintains the state's official and historic records and serves as the registry of corporations and charities.
Reed came into office after a federal court found the state's blanket primary unconstitutional. He tried and failed to find a legislative solution that was a close fit. Reed opposed the Montana-style system eventually chosen for the September primary, but his office capably helped educate voters to get everyone through it.
Reed is a strong supporter of Initiative 872, a Grange-backed proposal that advances the top-two finishers in the primary to the general election, regardless of party.
Ruderman is mum on I-872, believing it inappropriate for the state's chief election officer to become involved.
State voters will be looking to the secretary of state's office for steady, dependable advice and counsel in the coming years on electronic voting and similar issues. Reed's long service as Thurston County auditor and his roles as a state and national leader on election issues make him a trusted resource.
Reed played a leading role two years ago in saving the state library from closure during a budget crisis. His office is helping the state advance archival record-keeping in the 21st century.
Secretary of State Sam Reed has handled the management and technical functions of his office well. He is endorsed for the Nov. 2 election.
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