by David Ammons | January 16th, 2013
Kim Wyman has been inaugurated as Washington’s 15th Secretary of State, following a line of Republicans stretching back a half-century.
Wyman is the only woman and only Republican elected to statewide executive office in the last election, only the second woman Secretary of State in Washington history, and the first woman Republican Secretary in the Evergreen State.
Wyman took the oath of office shortly after noon on Wednesday, drawing cheers at a joint session of the House and Senate when she was called up to the rostrum for her swearing-in. She was emotional and shed some tears as she took the time-honored oath to uphold the constitution and laws of the United States and Washington and to perform her new duties to the best of her ability.
She was joined by her husband, John, and their son and daughter, her parents and sister. Later, staffers and two former Secretaries of State, Sam Reed and Ralph Munro, welcomed her into her new digs on the second floor of the Capitol, just down the hall from the office of the new governor, Jay Inslee.
Wyman held a ceremonial swearing-in and program later for several hundred family members and friends in the State Reception Room, and planned to greet citizens at the Inaugural Ball later in the evening. She plans to outline her legislative agenda to the Capitol Press Corps on Friday.
Before winning her new post, Wyman was Thurston County Auditor for 12 years, succeeding Reed in that office, too.
The mid-day joint session also included Inslee’s 36-minute Inaugural Address called “The World Will Not Wait,” a reference to global competitiveness. He vowed “a multi-year effort to bring disruptive change to Olympia, starting with the very core of how we do business.” He said he wants to work with lawmakers on gun legislation, better funding of K-12, creation of a more seamless system of education from early learning through college, funding of multi-modal transportation, and green energy jobs.
Inslee used the phrase “innovation” repeatedly. He drew cheers from fellow Democrats with his references to climate change, abortion rights, gay marriage, public employees and more. “We don’t deny science in Washington, we embrace it,” he said at one point.
Seven other statewides also were sworn in, including new Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Auditor Troy Kelley, and the newly re-elected state school chief Randy Dorn, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, Treasurer Jim McIntire, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Land Commissioner Peter Goldmark.