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Sam Reed's 'Civility Tour' stops in Friday Harbor
By Steve Wehrly, Journal reporter
As he heads towards retirement after twelve years as Secretary of State, Sam Reed is emphasizing three words on his farewell tour: civility, moderation, bipartisanship.
Friday Harbor was on Reed schedule for June 20 — another stop on a farewell tour of all 39 Washington counties. He especially wanted to come to San Juan County, he said, because it was the only county that denied him a majority in his landslide 2008 reelection victory.
Reed said he is touring the state to say good-bye to voters and to the people he has worked with at county elections offices during his three terms as the state's top elections officer. And, as the unofficial champion of state historic preservation efforts, to visit facilities like the San Juan Historical Museum as well. In Friday Harbor, he did both. After meeting for breakfast with about 30 members of San Juan Island Rotary Club to call for a return to the "political ethic of civility, moderation, bipartisanship and mutual respect" that former governor Dan Evans imparted to Reed in his first job in Olympia, a young staffer in the Evans' administration.
Reed reflected on "a different time" that, he said, was dedicated to "respecting the opposition" and "solving problems for the public good." He praised the political courage of Evans, the former governor, who, he said, always would ask himself, "Is this the right thing to do?", and never acted on the basis of political expediency.
And he recommended that politicians remember and emulate the unfailing courtesy, integrity and positive attitude of the late Joel Pritchard, five-term U.S. congressman and two-term Lieutenant Governor.