Cameron Smith, who quit his job as director of the state's Department of Consumer and Business Services agency to run for Oregon secretary of state, has withdrawn from the race.
"The possible path to victory ultimately has narrowed since I launched last November, but I am so grateful to my team for their energy, passion, expertise, and dedication," says Smith in a message posted to supporters on his website.
Today is the last day to officially enter or exit the race.
Smith's decision comes after former House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland) withdrew from the Democratic primary contest last month after a WW pursued a story on her campaign committee spending, including for international travel. Williamson was replaced in the race by an ally, Sen. Shemia Fagan (D-East Portland).
Smith was an unexpected entrant into the race for the Oregon's second-highest statewide office. His entrance came after two of the leading Democrats, Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) and Williamson, voted for reducing retirement benefits to public employees, leaving open the possibility that the public employee unions would seek an alternative to those two. (Jamie McLeod-Skinner, an elected Jefferson County education service district member, is also running.) In recent weeks, Fagan, who voted against the cuts, has won major public employee union backing.
Smith, before heading the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, led the state's Department of Veterans' Affairs. A former Marine captain who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Smith served as an adviser to former Govs. Ted Kulongoski and John Kitzhaber before taking over as director of DCBS.