OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Steve Hobbs has been sworn in as Washington’s 16th secretary of state.
He’s the first person of color to head the office and the first Democrat to hold the position in 56 years.
Hobbs, who is of Japanese descent, is leaving his Senate seat representing the 44th legislative district to replace Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman.
Wyman was the fifth consecutive GOP secretary of state in Washington dating back to 1965.
She is leaving the state this week to take a key election security job in the Biden administration.
The last Democrat to hold the office was Vic Meyers, who was elected as the 10th secretary of state in 1956 and served two terms.
Meyers was denied a third term in 1964, when he was defeated by Republican Lud Kramer.