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Oregon State Legislature

Governor Kate Brown has selected a former Republican lawmaker Bev Clarno as the next secretary of state.

“Bev’s experience as a legislator and as a manager of a large government organization is key to the success of the programs and employees the Secretary of State oversees,” said Brown in a press statement.

Clarno, 83, was a hog farmer before representing Central Oregon as both a state senator and representative, serving as House Speaker and Senate Republican Leader. Clarno also served as a regional representative for the US Department of Health and Human Services under the George W. Bush administration.

Clarno will replace former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who died of brain cancer in February. Brown has said she intended to replace Richardson with a Republican, as long as the nominee promised not to run for reelection in 2020.

“I’m honored by the confidence that Governor Brown has placed in me and pledge to Oregonians what I pledged to her — that I will serve Oregonians as their Secretary of State in a professional and non-partisan manner and that I will be a good steward of the office,” Clarno said in a statement shared with OPB.

“I know there is not a Republican way or a Democrat way to oversee elections — there is only a fair and honest way. 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.”

Clarno will be official sworn in next week.