Bev Clarno. Photo: Governor's Office

SALEM - Governor Kate Brown appointed former Redmond state representative Bev Clarno to fill the rest of former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson's term, who died just over a month ago.

She will take office "over the next several days," according to a press release from the Governor's office, before being ceremonially sworn in the week of April 1. She will fill the rest of Richardson's term, which finishes in early January 2021.

According to a press release issued by the Governor's office on Friday, March 29, Clarno served four terms in the Oregon House of Representatives starting in 1988, serving as the Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1997. In 2000, Clarno was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2000, serving as Senate Republican Leader during the 2003 legislative session, a session marked by a 15-15 Republican-Democrat split. She resigned when she was appointed by President George W. Bush to be the Director for Region 10 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Clarno was the first woman to hold leadership positions in both the Oregon House and Senate.

“Bev’s career is marked by her trailblazing spirit, focus on fiscal responsibility, and a commitment to Oregonians,” said Governor Brown. “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." 

“I'm honored by the confidence that Governor Brown has placed in me and pledge to be a good steward of the office. 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,” said Clarno. 

Clarno worked as a hog farmer and cattle rancher, real estate broker and an appraiser among other things prior to her 1988 election to the Oregon House.

She has served on a number of boards for various organizations, 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.