Redmond resident Bev Clarno, a former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, was appointed as Oregon’s new secretary of state by Gov. Kate Brown on March 29.
Clarno replaces former Secretary Dennis Richardson, who died of cancer Feb. 26. Richardson was elected to a four-year term in 2016.
“I’m honored by the confidence that Gov. Brown has placed in me and pledge to be a good steward of the office,” Clarno said in a news release. “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 worked in jobs including hog farming, cattle ranching and real estate before being elected to the House in 1988. She was re-elected three times, serving as speaker from 1995-97, the news release said. She was elected to the state senate in 2000, serving as the chamber’s Republican leader during the 2003 session, when the senate had a 15-15 split between Republicans and Democrats.
Clarno is expected to be sworn in before a ceremonial swearing in the week of April 1.
“Bev’s career is marked by her trailblazing spirit, focus on fiscal responsibility, and a commitment to Oregonians,” Brown said in the statement. “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. I’m confident that Bev will continue the legacy of accountability and integrity that Secretary Richardson left on the office of secretary of state.”
Clarno has served on boards representing the Redmond Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Historical Society, the Maryhill Museum, Deschutes River Conservancy Board, the Deschutes County Fair and Expo and the Central Oregon Community College Foundation, the release said.
According to the Associated Press, Brown, a Democrat, committed to filling the remainder of Richardson’s term, which ends in January 2021, with a Republican who agreed to not run for the office in 2020. Clarno is 83.
Clarno lived in Bend while in the legislature, but moved to Seattle in 2003 when former President George W. Bush appointed her as the Pacific Northwest regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Spokesman Randy Hilderbrand said Clarno moved to Redmond on her return to Central Oregon a couple years later.