Sec. of State candidates will visit to debate

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The first Washington Secretary of State candidates’ debate will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E. 18th St., Vancouver.

The event, sponsored by the Freedom Foundation, is free to the public.

Of the four candidates, Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup; and Thurston County Auditor Kim Yyman, a Republican, have confirmed they will participate.

Former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has not responded to an invitation from the Freedom Foundation, said Scott Roberts, the nonprofit organization’s citizen action network director. Former State Sen. Kathleen Drew, D-Issaquah, will not attend but didn’t say why not, Roberts said.

The Secretary of State is Washington’s chief elections officer, chief corporations officer and supervisor of the state archives and state library.

Freedom Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit corporation that educates the public about state politics. Roberts said the group chose Vancouver as a debate location to further its mission of reaching the public, including those who do not live in the state’s urban and political centers of Seattle and Olympia.