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Oregon's 1st Republican Elected To Statewide Office In 14 Years Takes Office Friday


In this Nov. 8, 2016, file photo, Dennis Richardson, then a candidate for Oregon secretary of state, rallies the crowd at an election night event in Salem, Oregon. Richardson, who was elected as the state's secretary of state in November, takes his oath of office Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.

In this Nov. 8, 2016, file photo, Dennis Richardson, then a candidate for Oregon secretary of state, rallies the crowd at an election night event in Salem, Oregon. Richardson, who was elected as the state’s secretary of state in November, takes his oath of office Friday, Dec. 30, 2016.

Timothy J. Gonzalez/AP

Oregon will soon have its first Republican secretary of state in more than three decades. Dennis Richardson is set to take the oath of office Friday.

Richardson is a former state lawmaker from Central Point, near Medford.

In more than a decade in Salem, he became known for his budget prowess and conservative views on social issues.

As a candidate for secretary of state, Richardson promised to serve out the role in a non-partisan manner. The secretary of state oversees elections, audits and other functions.



Richardson plans to keep most of the division heads of the Secretary of State’s Office, and recently announced he would hire back former Elections Director Steve Trout, who served four years under then-Secretary of State Kate Brown, a Democrat who now serves as governor.

Richardson defeated Democrat Brad Avakian and four other candidates in the November election. He’s the first Republican to win a statewide election in Oregon since 2002.

He’ll take the oath at 11 a.m. Friday in the Oregon Senate chambers and will formally take office Monday, Jan. 2.

Oregon’s highest ranking Republican office-holder, Congressman Greg Walden, will deliver remarks at Richardson’s ceremony.

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