Bev Clarno Appointed New Oregon SoS

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Oregon Governor Kate Brown has appointed Bev Clarno, a veteran Republican legislator, as the new Secretary of State following the recent death of incumbent Dennis Richardson. The Statesman Journal has more:

Gov. Kate Brown appointed former legislator and House Speaker Bev Clarno as Oregon’s new secretary of state.

Brown’s office announced the appointment Friday afternoon. Clarno, who also served as the state Senate’s Republican leader, succeeds Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who died in February of brain cancer

“Bev’s career is marked by her trailblazing spirit, focus on fiscal responsibility and a commitment to Oregonians,” Brown said in her announcement…

Brown stated earlier she would appoint a Republican to replace Richardson, Oregon’s only Republican statewide-elected official, if the nominee agreed not to run for re-election in 2020. Clarno agreed to that stipulation.

A similar arrangement was made when Brown, then secretary of state, became governor in 2015 and had to be replaced by an appointed secretary of state.

Clarno had a wide-ranging career — hog farmer, cattle rancher, real estate broker and appraiser among other occupations — before her election in 1988 to the Oregon House of Representatives. She was re-elected three times, and served as speaker from 1995 to 1997.

She was elected to the state Senate in 2000, and served as Senate Republican leader in the 2003 session, navigating a politically charged 15-15 Republican-Democrat split.

Clarno’s appointment generated bipartisan support:

“I’m honored by the confidence that Gov. Brown has placed in me and pledge to be a good steward of the office,” Clarno said.

Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr., of Grants Pass, praised Brown’s choice.

“It is my hope that Bev Clarno continues the legacy left by Secretary Richardson and uses the position to be a strong advocate for good government, including continuing to audit state agencies and show Oregonians what is really happening in their state government,” he said in a statement.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem also lauded the appointment. 

“She’s as good as you get. She has strong values and is very credible,” Courtney said in a statement. “But more importantly, she’s fair, very fair. We’re glad to have her back serving the people of Oregon.”

Clarno is moving quickly to assume control in the office, with the announcement yesterday that three senior staff will not be retained. Congratulations to Secretary Clarno; here’s hoping that she settles in quickly and minimizes transition challenges, with a statewide and presidential election on tap for 2020. Stay tuned …

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