Oregon's state government was already dominated by women. But now there's one more, leaving just one man in statewide executive office.
Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, announced this afternoon that she was appointing Bev Clarno, a former speaker of the Oregon House Representatives, to be secretary of state, following the death last month of Dennis Richardson, the state's lone Republican in statewide office. Clarno, also a Republican, represented Redmond in the state House.
Clarno's appointment leaves the state treasurer, Tobias Read, as the lone man among the statewide executive office holders. Three Democratic women already held office: Gov Brown. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Labor and Industries Commissioner Val Hoyle.
The choice of Clarno, 83, won praise from Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) and from former state Rep. Knute Beuhler (R-Bend), who ran against Brown in the November gubernatorial race.
Brown had vowed to appoint a Republican who would not seek reelection, just as she did after her ascension to the governorship in 2015 left an opening for a Democrat in the secretary of state's office. (At that time, Brown appointed Jeanne Atkins, who did not seek reelection.)
"I know there is not a Republican way or a Democrat way to oversee elections—there is only a fair and honest way," said Clarno in a statement. "There is not a Republican way or a Democrat way to audit state agencies, there is only a fair, thorough, and honest way. I will administer the key functions of this office in a way that will earn the trust and faith of all Oregonians."
She will take the oath of office on Monday, April 1.