County auditor’s race: Former secretary of state backs Garth Fell

Earlier this week, I was surprised to hear my name appeared in the Daily Herald. As Washington’s former Secretary of State, I have been working at a national level on election integrity and security issues. Curious, I went to the webpage to see why I was mentioned.

In a “sponsored” article, auditor candidate and former employee Cindy Gobel mentioned she had worked with me for five years, which is true. She worked in the Election Division as a mid-level employee in the office. My concern is that the reference may suggest my endorsement.

Let me be clear, until now I had not endorsed either candidate in the county auditor’s race. Based on my experience working with both candidates, the most qualified candidate with the utmost integrity is current Snohomish County Auditor Garth Fell.

Fell has built a secure and accessible election department that is a model for the entire state. He is a collaborator who frequently shares his experience and expertise to improve Washington state’s election system.

Looking forward, I call on The Herald to consider ending the practice of allowing candidates to pay for ads that look and feel like any other article in the paper. The blurring of lines between independently written pieces and these paid ads can be misleading and does not lead to a better informed, more engaged electorate.

I endorse Garth Fell and encourage voters to reelect him as Snohomish County Auditor.

Kim Wyman

Washington, D.C.

Opinion editor’s note: “Sponsored” material, online and in print, is paid advertising, which is neither prepared nor vetted by The Herald’s newsroom or opinion staff.

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