Reed received his bachelor's and master's degrees in political science from Washington State University. He was elected to the office of Secretary of State in 2000, as one of only two Republicans to be elected to statewide office that year, after serving as Thurston County auditor for several decades. Reed is Washington's fourteenth Secretary of State.
Currently in 2008, Sam Reed is up for re-election, and his opponent is Democrat Jason Osgood.
In 2004 Reed was re-elected by a relatively comfortable margin of about 6 percent. His opponents were Laura Ruderman, a state legislator, and Jacqueline Passey, a college student, and Andy Stephenson who dropped out before the primaries. The results were:
As Secretary of State, Sam Reed oversaw the controversial 2004 Washington gubernatorial election between Dino Rossi and Christine Gregoire. He also advocated for and oversaw the introduction of Washington's nonpartisan blanket primary voting system for statewide and district elections.