In a brief interview with Secretary of State Dennis Richardson published this week, WW asked Richardson about his relationship with other state-wide elected officials, who are all Democrats. Richardson said he'd gotten a cold shoulder from Gov. Kate Brown.

"I have requested meetings and involvement in emergency preparedness planning because I'm second in line in succession," Richardson said. "As a helicopter pilot, I know that when you're in crisis, you don't read the manual, but I have not been successful in getting those meetings."

Dennis Richardson (Secretary of State’s Office)
Dennis Richardson (Secretary of State’s Office)

Chris Pair, a spokesman for Brown, took issue with that characterization.

"[Richardson] states that he has requested a meeting regarding emergency preparedness with Governor Brown and hasn't received one. That is flatly incorrect," Pair said in an email to WW. "The meeting was held at Dennis Richardson's request on 2/13/18 and included Dennis Richardson, Governor Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Adjutant General Michael Stencil, Public Safety Policy Advisor Heidi Moawad, and Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps."

Richardson's chief of staff, Deb Royal, acknowledged that meeting took place but said Richardson is seeking more consistent face time.

"The Secretary forgot about the single meeting in February referred to by Mr. Pair," Royal said. "This February lunch-time presentation was scheduled only after the Secretary put in writing his request to be included in monthly Executive Leadership Team meetings and be fully briefed in case it becomes necessary to assume the reins of state government.

"Thus, there has been only a single meeting held since the Secretary's December 12th letter and the next meeting scheduled by the Governor is a brown-bag luncheon on June 12, 2018. The Secretary is hopeful that the Governor will reconsider the Secretary's request for monthly briefings, inclusion in the Executive Leadership Team meetings, and other training opportunities that would prepare him to assume state leadership, if the circumstance were to arise."