Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson announced Wednesday he won't seek the Republican nomination for governor next year.
Richardson was elected last fall, the first Republican to win a statewide office since 2002.
Here's his full statement:
Stating he is honored to finish the term and fulfill his elected role as Oregon’s second-in-command, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson today announced he will not seek the Republican nomination for Governor during the 2018 election cycle.
“I feel that what I’m doing is so important that I should dedicate all of my time to my work as Secretary of State,” Secretary Richardson said. “The people of Oregon have placed their trust in me to be the best Secretary of State I can be, and I wouldn’t be able to meet that trust if I ran for governor so soon after my election.”
Richardson was elected in November 2016 to be the 26th Secretary of State on a campaign of increased scrutiny of public spending, access to public records, open and fair elections, and a business-friendly climate that will cultivate good jobs throughout the state. The Secretary of State’s non-partisan role is to oversee Oregon’s elections, audit government programs and agencies, oversee Oregon businesses throughout the state, and manage Oregon’s archival collection of historical documents.
Since taking office in January, Richardson has released all financial data from the Secretary of State’s office for the past six years – with promised updates each month. In addition, he has denied a request from the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity asking for information that violates state law, convened a legislative redistricting task force, and reinstated more than 60,000 Oregon voters who had been placed, or were about to be, on the inactive voter list. He also headlined a “Diversity in Business” event with more than 470 business leaders in the Portland area, and raised more than $90,000 to refurbish and display the original Oregon State Constitution.
“I’m just beginning, and I really need to focus on the tasks at hand,” Secretary Richardson said. “There is a lot to this job, and I’m still learning how to best serve the people of Oregon.”
Prior to his election, Secretary Richardson served six terms in the Oregon Legislature (2003-2015) and served on the Central Point City Council. He and his wife, Cathy, have been married for 44 years. They have one son and eight daughters, the last of whom they adopted from the DHS foster care system. In addition to his duties as Secretary of State, Secretary Richardson also serves on the Board of ACCESS, the Community Action Agency of Jackson County.