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News » Local News

A Central Oregonian is the New Secretary of State

Governor names Bev Clarno to the spot, following the death of Dennis Richardson

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Bev Clarno of Redmond will be Oregon's new Secretary of State.

Governor Kate Brown's office announced the appointment today, following the death of Dennis Richardson Feb. 26. Richardson had suffered from brain cancer.

During her career, Clarno, a Republican, has served as a state legislator representing Redmond, working as both Speaker of the House as a representative and Senate Republican Leader during her time in the Senate. Prior to her political career, Clarno was a hog farmer and cattle rancher, real estate broker and appraiser. She was first elected to the Oregon House in 1988.



Bev Clarno of Redmond has served as both a representative and a senator in the state legislature—experience that will help her get up to speed as Oregon's newest Secretary of State. - MAGDALENA BOKOWA
  • Magdalena Bokowa
  • Bev Clarno of Redmond has served as both a representative and a senator in the state legislature—experience that will help her get up to speed as Oregon's newest Secretary of State.
"I went into politics essentially after seeing the needless and ridiculous restrictions and limitations I saw government put on the little guy," Clarno told the Source for our 2017 Women's Issue. "In the early '70s, government officials would come and visit my hog farm in Wasco, Oregon, and they were arrogant, demanding and awful to deal with — and in the rural areas, you're not used to people treating you that way. So I thought, if I could just get into the Legislature, I would try and change it so that we would help people comply with the law."

Following the death of Richardson, Gov. Brown vowed to appoint another Republican to fill Richardson's post—with the condition that the appointee wouldn't run for the spot in the next election. When he was elected in 2016, Richardson was the first Republican elected to a statewide office in Oregon in 14 years.

Among the Oregon Secretary of State's duties are being the state's chief elections officer, the administrator of public records and the state's auditor of public accounts.

“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," Brown stated in today's release. "I’m confident that Bev will continue the legacy of accountability and integrity that Secretary Richardson left on the office of Secretary of State."

President George W. Bush appointed Clarno Director for Region 10 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Clarno has also served on numerous boards and volunteered at many local organizations, according to the governor's release, including the Oregon Historical Society, the Maryhill Museum, Deschutes River Conservancy Board, the Deschutes County Fair and Expo, the Central Oregon Community College Foundation, and the Redmond Chamber of Commerce.

Clarno will take the oath of office over the next few days, and will have a ceremonial swearing-in the week of April 1. 

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. (Blame her for everything since then.) Favorite car: A Trek commuter bike. Favorite cat: An adopted dog who looks like a Jedi master. Favorite things, besides responding to your comments: Downton Abbey re-runs, Aretha Franklin albums, and pink wine.

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