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Sam Reed, Olympia, Washington

Sam Reed
Sam Reed had a 45-year career serving the citizens of Washington State. Most recently, Sam served as Washington’s Secretary of State from 2001-2013. His accomplishments in this role include advocating and implementing the top two primary system, increasing voter participation, creating the nation’s first digital state archives, saving the Washington State Library and championing civility, moderation and bipartisanship in government. Prior to this role, Sam served as Thurston County Auditor for five terms, as the Assistant Secretary of State and as executive director of two gubernatorial commissions.

Reed has received considerable state and national recognition for his service – including Governing Magazine named him national Public Official of the Year for 2009, the Washington Coalition of Open Government presented him with the James Madison Award for championing public records, the Tacoma World Trade Center presented him with their first Lifetime Achievement Award for his successful promotion of international trade and he recently received Washington State University’s prestigious Alumni Achievement Award. 

In retirement, Sam is engaged in many civic and political endeavors including serving on the executive boards for TVW, the State Historical Society, the YMCA Youth & Government program, the state Heritage Center Trust and the Mainstream Republicans of Washington – which he is chairing in 2014-2016..   He is also focusing on raising money for the Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility at WSU.

Sam was raised in Wenatchee, graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane and attended Washington State University where he received a BA in Social Studies and an MA in Political Science. Sam currently lives in Olympia with his wife Margie. He enjoys playing tennis, his grandsons and a family cabin on Lake Wenatchee.


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Former Secretary of State for Washington
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BlackPast.org is an independent non-profit corporation 501(c)(3). It has no affiliation with the University of Washington. BlackPast.org is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the state of Washington, and contributions from individuals and foundations.