Keynote: Steve Hobbs, Secretary of State, on COVID, political division


Aaron Kunkler


We were honored to have Secretary of State Steve Hobbs join us as an afternoon keynote speaker during the 2022 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference last week. Hobbs was a longtime state Senator who represented the 44th LD before being appointed to Secretary of State in November. He has 33 years of military service under his belt, and is currently a Lt. Colonel in and serves as Commander of Joint Force Headquarters Washington Army National Guard.


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Much of his time in the military has been spent in intelligence. Hobbs said this experience will serve him well, as he leads the state’s election department.

Hobbs also ran COVID response operations in the early days of the pandemic. He spoke about starting with a National Guard team of 150 people, which supported medical supplies distribution efforts, as well as food bank operations. His team quickly grew to 750 members.

In order to retain his position, Hobbs will have to run in 2022 to serve out the remainder of his predecessor’s term. In addressing this, he spoke about how politics have changed, and about COVID moving into the future.

“I’m hoping that with COVID, the curve will bend,” he said. “So everyone do the right thing: get vaccinated and wear masks.”