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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Richardson Set To Take Over As Oregon Secretary Of State

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
Dennis Richardson addresses supporters after declaring victory at an Election Night party in Salem on November 8, 2016.

Oregon will soon have its first Republican secretary of state in more than three decades. Dennis Richardson is set to take the oath of office on Friday.

Richardson is a former state lawmaker from the Medford area. In more than a decade in Salem, he became known for his budget prowess and conservative views on social issues. As a candidate for secretary of state, Richardson promised to serve out the role in a non-partisan manner.

He defeated Democrat Brad Avakian and four other candidates in the November election becoming the first Republican to win a statewide election in Oregon since 2002.

The secretary of state oversees elections, audits and other functions. Richardson plans to keep most of the division heads of the secretary of state's office, and recently announced he would hire back former Elections Director Steve Trout, who served four years under then-Secretary of State Kate Brown.

Richardson will take the oath on Friday, December 30 at 11 a.m. in the Oregon Senate chambers and will formally take office on Monday, January 2.

Oregon's highest ranking Republican office-holder, Rep. Greg Walden, will deliver remarks at Richardson's ceremony.